Comparing the climatic sensitivity of radial growth between Acadian tree species and stand types in New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick


In order to understand how the different Acadian tree species and stand types will grow under future increasing temperatures and inform management, I used a dendroecological approach to compare the growth sensitivity of coniferous and broadleaf tree species to historical climate at four different stand types within Acadia Research Forest in New Brunswick, Canada. At each site, dominant tree species were cored, their ring-widths measured, cross-dated, and correlated with historical climate. We found that higher temperatures and low water availability in summer was associated with lower growth of balsam fir and red maple in a majority of sites, while drought in summer negatively affected the growth of spruce and yellow birch. In winter, high vapor pressure deficit was negatively correlated with the growth of coniferous species, but positively correlated with maple growth. Overall, despite inconsistent climate responses across sites, these results provide compelling evidence of contrasted climate sensitivity among tree species.