• Element Mobility In Bald Cypress Xylem

      Galicki, Stanley J.; Davidson, Gregg R.; Threlkeld, Stephen T.; Millsaps College Department of Geology, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS, 39210, USA; Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Carrier 118, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 38677, USA; Department of Biology, Shoemaker 318, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 38677, USA (Tree-Ring Society, 2008-06)
      Trace element mobility in bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) was investigated for a suite of elements using cores from century-old trees from a wetland in Humphreys County, Mississippi. Element mobility was determined by comparing the dendrochemistry of decadal increments over the life span of a tree, and by comparing increments of the same age collected from the same tree during two different seasons. Variability within growth increments at the time of sampling was evaluated by comparing cores from the same tree collected at three points around the bole. Of 42 elements analyzed, eight were found above detection limits (As, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, Zn). Clear evidence of translocation of P and Mn to the sapwood and K, Mg, and Na to the heartwood was observed. Ca and Zn were found with higher average concentrations in the sapwood, though evidence of translocation to the sapwood was equivocal. Arsenic did not vary significantly through any individual core. Variation in concentration was not found to be significant for any element with respect to year of sampling, season, location in the wetland, or position around the bole. With the exception of As, variation was significant with respect to increment age (decade) and location within the heartwood or sapwood.
    • Tree Establishment During Dry Spells At An Oak Savanna In Minnesota

      Ziegler, Susy Svatek; Larson, Evan R.; Rauchfuss, Julia; Elliott, Grant P.; Minnesota Dendroecology Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota (Tree-Ring Society, 2008-06)
      Recent research has challenged the long-standing hypothesis that forests in the Upper Midwest of the United States developed during wetter periods and retreated during dry periods. We explored this debate by examining patterns of tree establishment on an oak savanna in east-central Minnesota within the context of variable moisture availability and fire suppression. We used superposed epoch analyses (SEA) to evaluate the mean moisture conditions for a 21-year window surrounding tree establishment dates. Before effective fire suppression (1809–1939), 24 of 42 trees with pith dates (62%) grew to 30-cm height during dry years (Palmer Drought Severity Index < -1), versus only 5 of 42 (12%) that established in wet years (PDSI > 1). Significantly more trees established during dry periods (negative PDSI values) than would be expected with the proportion of wet-to-dry years (x²= 10.738, df = 1, p-value = 0.001). Twenty of the complete sample of 74 trees with pith dates (27%) established during drought in the 1930s. We hypothesize that dry conditions limited plant productivity, which in turn decreased competition between grasses and tree seedlings and reduced rates of accumulation of fine fuels, enabling seedlings to grow tall enough to resist subsequent fires. We recommend SEA as a methodological approach to compare historical climate conditions with the timing of regeneration success in other regions of forest expansion.
    • When Is One Core Per Tree Suffifcient To Characterize Stand Attributes? Results Of A Pinus Ponderosa Case Study

      Woodall, C. W.; USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA (Tree-Ring Society, 2008-06)
      Increment cores are invaluable for assessing tree attributes such as inside bark diameter, radial growth, and sapwood area. However, because trees accrue growth and sapwood unevenly around their pith, tree attributes derived from one increment core may not provide sufficient precision for forest management/research activities. To assess the variability in a tree’s inside bark radius, sapwood radius, and 10-year radial growth estimated by tree cores, two increment cores at 90 degree angles were collected from ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) trees in eastern Montana (n = 2,156). Paired core measurements varied substantially with 13% mean difference for inside bark radius, 19% mean difference for sapwood radius, and 23% mean difference for estimates of radial increment. Furthermore, decreasing crown ratio, decreasing diameter, and increasing site slope were all found to increase differences in estimates derived from paired cores. Whether for management or research purposes, the number of cores that should collected per tree depend on a stand’s susceptibility to reaction wood, required measurement precision, and budgetary constraints.