Drought responses of conifers in ecotone forests of northern Arizona: Tree ring growth and leaf δ13C

Henry D. Adams, Thomas E. Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We sought to understand differences in tree response to meteorological drought among species and soil types at two ecotone forests in northern Arizona, the pinyon-juniper woodland/ponderosa pine ecotone, and the higher elevation, wetter, ponderosa pine/mixed conifer ecotone. We used two approaches that provide different information about drought response: the ratio of standardized radial growth in wet years to dry years (W:D) for the period between years 1950 and 2000 as a measure of growth response to drought, and δ13C in leaves formed in non-drought (2001) and drought (2002) years as a measure of change in water use efficiency (WUE) in response to drought. W:D and leaf δ13C response to drought for Pinus edulis and P. ponderosa did not differ for trees growing on coarse-texture soils derived from cinders compared with finer textured soils derived from flow basalts or sedimentary rocks. P. ponderosa growing near its low elevation range limit at the pinyon-juniper woodland/ponderosa pine ecotone had a greater growth response to drought (higher W:D) and a larger increase in WUE in response to drought than co-occurring P. edulis growing near its high elevation range limit. P. flexilis and Pseudotsuga menziesii growing near their low elevation range limit at the ponderosa pine/ mixed conifer ecotone had a larger growth response to drought than co-occurring P. ponderosa growing near its high elevation range limit. Increases in WUE in response to drought were similar for all species at the ponderosa pine/mixed conifer ecotone. Low elevation populations of P. ponderosa had greater growth response to drought than high-elevation populations, whereas populations had a similar increase in WUE in response to drought. Our findings of different responses to drought among co-occurring tree species and between low- and high-elevation populations are interpreted in the context of drought impacts on montane coniferous forests of the southwestern USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalOecologia
Volume140
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Fingerprint

ecotones
ecotone
growth rings
tree ring
conifers
coniferous tree
drought
Pinus ponderosa
leaves
growth response
water use efficiency
pinyon-juniper
Pinus edulis
woodlands
woodland
sedimentary rocks
fine-textured soils
basalt
montane forest
coniferous forest

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Elevation
  • Pinus edulis
  • Pinus flexilis
  • Pinus ponderosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Drought responses of conifers in ecotone forests of northern Arizona : Tree ring growth and leaf δ13C. / Adams, Henry D.; Kolb, Thomas E.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 140, No. 2, 07.2004, p. 217-225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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