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Open AccessArticle

Synchronous Growth Releases in Peatland Pine Chronologies as an Indicator for Regional Climate Dynamics—A Multi-Site Study Including Estonia, Belarus and Sweden

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Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
2
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu, Estonia
3
Institute of Experimental Botany of the National Academy of Science of Belarus, Academicheskaya 27, 220072 Minsk, Belarus
4
Department of Geology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden
5
Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 62, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121097
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Disturbance Dynamics Analysis for Forest Ecosystem Management)
Fourteen tree-ring chronologies developed from 788 peatland Scots pines sampled at sites in Estonia, Belarus and Sweden were compared for common growth trends and possible links to regional climate dynamics. Several synchronous growth release events were detected, especially during the 1910s, 1930s, and around 1970 and 1990, indicating that hydrological shifts and associated tree growth responses have been governed by similar forcing mechanisms, at least during the 20th century. In general, the best agreements were observed between the tree populations from Estonia and Belarus, but synchronous growth changes could also be detected between the Swedish and Estonian material. Trends detected in single tree-ring chronologies may be linked to local peatland management or land-use changes, whereas common variations detected at multiple sites are more likely linked to hydrological changes in the peatlands associated with regional climate dynamics. Understanding the links between climate and processes that involve peatland hydrology and vegetation responses is important since peatland ecosystems are key players in the global carbon cycle.
Keywords: peatlands; Scots pine; Pinus sylvestris; hydrological variability; growth release; dendrochronology peatlands; Scots pine; Pinus sylvestris; hydrological variability; growth release; dendrochronology
MDPI and ACS Style

Potapov, A.; Toomik, S.; Yermokhin, M.; Edvardsson, J.; Lilleleht, A.; Kiviste, A.; Kaart, T.; Metslaid, S.; Järvet, A.; Hordo, M. Synchronous Growth Releases in Peatland Pine Chronologies as an Indicator for Regional Climate Dynamics—A Multi-Site Study Including Estonia, Belarus and Sweden. Forests 2019, 10, 1097.

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