Radial Growth Relationships in Utah Juniper (Juniperus Osteosperma) and Pinyon Pine (Pinus Edulis)
AuthorDespain, Del Westover.
AdvisorKlemmedson, James O.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe assumption that each latewood ring in trees represents one year of growth was tested for Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) and pinyon pine (Pinus edulis). Ring characteristics and growth rates were evaluated for 72 years of growth following scars of consistent date on all trees sampled. Errors in age and growth rate estimates based on ring counts were evaluated. Potential variation among observers was accounted for. Average error in ring counts was lowest when rings were counted on the fastest-growing portions of each cross-section. Errors for more than 40% of the junipers exceeded 10 percent with about half of the trees with more rings and half with less rings than actual years. Pinyons rarely had more rings than years and only 5% of the trees were missing more than 10% of the 72 annual rings. Percentage errors in growth rate estimates based on ring counts were similar to ring count errors for both species. Assigning junipers to age classes based on ring counts also can lead to error in assumed ages of trees. Assuming that ring count error for each tree for the 72 year period studied approximates potential error over the life of each tree, more than half of junipers older than 250 years would be assigned to the wrong age class when using 50 year age classes. Number of rings in junipers was highly correlated with growth rate. Competition from surrounding trees explained as much as 53% and 40% of the variation in growth rates of junipers and pinyons respectively. Relating growth rates and ring counts to ordinations of stand, site and soil characteristics indicated that trees with relatively fast growth rates or trees with the most rings tended to occur on gentle, north to northeast aspects with relatively better- developed soils. However, stand competition often had an overriding influence on growth. Presence of Koelaria pyramidata in the understory was generally an indicator of relatively favorable growing conditions for junipers. Results suggest the need for more caution in the use of ring counts for estimating ages or growth rates of Utah junipers and pinyons than has generally been used in the past, especially when drawing conclusions about specific individuals.
Degree ProgramRenewable Natural Resources