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Open AccessArticle

Response of Four Tree Species to Changing Climate in a Moisture-Limited Area of South Siberia

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Khakass Technical Institute, Siberian Federal University, 655017 Abakan, Russia
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Department of Mathematical Methods and Information Technology, Siberian Federal University, 660075 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
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Institute of Ecology and Geography, Siberian Federal University, 660041 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
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Department of Dendroecology, V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 660036 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
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Department of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Georg-August University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Center for Integrated Breeding Research, George-August University of Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
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Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
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Laboratory of Population Genetics, N.I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia
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Laboratory of Forest Genomics, Genome Research and Education Center, Institute of Fundamental Biology and Biotechnology, Siberian Federal University, 660036 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110999
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 5 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radial Tree-Ring Traits Variation in Relation to Climate Factors)
The response of vegetation to climate change is of special interest in regions where rapid warming is coupled with moisture deficit. This raises the question of the limits in plants’ acclimation ability and the consequent shifts of the vegetation cover. Radial growth dynamics and climatic response were studied in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Siberian larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.), and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) in the forest-steppe, and for Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.) in the steppe of South Siberia, as indicators of vegetation state and dynamics. Climate–growth relationships were analyzed by the following two approaches: (1) correlations between tree-ring width chronologies and short-term moving climatic series, and (2) optimization of the parameters of the Vaganov–Shashkin tree growth simulation model to assess the ecophysiological characteristics of species. Regional warming was accompanied by a slower increase of the average moisture deficit, but not in the severity of droughts. In the forest-steppe, the trees demonstrated stable growth and responded to the May–July climate. In the steppe, elm was limited by moisture deficit in May–beginning of June, during the peak water deficit. The forest-steppe stands were apparently acclimated successfully to the current climatic trends. It seems that elm was able to counter the water deficit, likely through its capacity to regulate transpiration by the stomatal morphology and xylem structure, using most of the stem as a water reservoir; earlier onset; and high growth rate, and these physiological traits may provide advantages to this species, leading to its expansion in steppes. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate–growth relationships; climate change; drought stress; Scots pine; Siberian elm; Siberian larch; silver birch; tree rings; Vaganov–Shashkin model climate–growth relationships; climate change; drought stress; Scots pine; Siberian elm; Siberian larch; silver birch; tree rings; Vaganov–Shashkin model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Babushkina, E.A.; Zhirnova, D.F.; Belokopytova, L.V.; Tychkov, I.I.; Vaganov, E.A.; Krutovsky, K.V. Response of Four Tree Species to Changing Climate in a Moisture-Limited Area of South Siberia. Forests 2019, 10, 999.

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