Tree growth and vegetation activity at the ecosystem-scale in the eastern Mediterranean
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lab Tree Ring Res
Univ Arizona, Sch Geog & Dev
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationTree growth and vegetation activity at the ecosystem-scale in the eastern Mediterranean 2017, 12 (8):084008 Environmental Research Letters
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Rights© 2017 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractLinking annual tree growth with remotely-sensed terrestrial vegetation indices provides a basis for using tree rings as proxies for ecosystem primary productivity over large spatial and long temporal scales. In contrast with most previous tree ring/remote sensing studies that have focused on temperature-limited boreal and taiga environments, here we compare the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) with a network of Pinus brutia tree ring width chronologies collected along ecological gradients in semiarid Cyprus, where both radial tree growth and broader vegetation activity are controlled by drought. We find that the interaction between precipitation, elevation, and land-cover type generate a relationship between radial tree growth and NDVI. While tree ring chronologies at higher-elevation forested sites do not exhibit climatedriven linkages with NDVI, chronologies at lower-elevation dry sites are strongly correlated with NDVI during the winter precipitation season. At lower-elevation sites, land cover is dominated by grasslands and shrublands and tree ring widths operate as a proxy for ecosystem-scale vegetation activity. Tree rings can therefore be used to reconstruct productivity in water-limited grasslands and shrublands, where future drought stress is expected to alter the global carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning in the 21st century.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUS National Science Foundation; ATMGEO/ATM-Paleoclimate Program ; AGS-Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program