Tree Growth Response To Climate Change Across Three Conifer Species In A Navajo Forest
AuthorSchwan, Melissa Renee
AdvisorAnchukaitis, Kevin J.
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.
AbstractConifer forests in the Southwest are predicted to be particularly at risk from increased drought and higher temperatures projected for the region. Higher temperature in the Southwest leads to higher evaporative demand, exaggerating drought effects, and under extreme conditions can stress trees to the point of mortality. Severe droughts are also a well-documented driver of tree-killing forest disturbances, including wildfire and insect outbreaks. Regional projections of forest drought stress show heightened sensitivity of tree growth and disturbances to hotter droughts. Little is known about how future droughts might manifest at landscape and finer scales or among different species. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for management. Here we present a multi-species, multi-variate analysis of tree response to climate at two sites on the Navajo Nation where Pinus edulis, Pinus ponderosa, and Pseudotsuga menziesii are co-occurring. We tested tree growth patterns from standardized chronologies and basal area increment against a high-resolution PRISM climate dataset. We found similar responses to climate at annual and seasonal scales across species, and although species varied in growth rates, growth was synchronous in severe drought years. These findings suggest that at these sites, all three conifer species will likely respond in equivalent ways to future hotter droughts.
Degree ProgramHonors College