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Article

Accumulated Heating and Chilling Are Important Drivers of Forest Phenology and Productivity in the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks Conservation Corridor of Eastern North America

School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
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Academic Editor: Brian Buma
Forests 2021, 12(3), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030282
Received: 5 February 2021 / Revised: 23 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 2 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Random Forests for Forest Ecology)
Research Highlights: Forest phenology and productivity were responsive to seasonal heating and chilling accumulation, but responses differed across the temperature range. Background and Objectives: Temperate forests have responded to recent climate change worldwide, but the pattern and magnitude of response have varied, necessitating additional studies at higher spatial and temporal resolutions. We investigated climatic drivers of inter-annual variation in forest phenology and productivity across the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks (A2A) conservation corridor of eastern North America. Methods: We used remotely sensed indices from the AVHRR sensor series and a suite of gridded climate data from the Daymet database spanning from 1989–2014. We used random forest regression to characterize forest–climate relationships between forest growth indices and climatological variables. Results: A large portion of the annual variation in phenology and productivity was explained by climate (pR2 > 80%), with variation largely driven by accumulated heating and chilling degree days. Only very minor relationships with precipitation-related variables were evident. Conclusions: Our results indicate that anthropogenic climate change in the A2A has not yet reached the point of triggering widespread changes in forest phenology and productivity, but the sensitivity of forest growth to inter-annual variation in seasonal temperature accumulation suggests that more temperate forest area will be affected by climate change as warming continues. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest; phenology; productivity; temperature; random forest; partial dependence forest; phenology; productivity; temperature; random forest; partial dependence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stefanuk, M.A.; Danby, R.K. Accumulated Heating and Chilling Are Important Drivers of Forest Phenology and Productivity in the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks Conservation Corridor of Eastern North America. Forests 2021, 12, 282. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030282

AMA Style

Stefanuk MA, Danby RK. Accumulated Heating and Chilling Are Important Drivers of Forest Phenology and Productivity in the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks Conservation Corridor of Eastern North America. Forests. 2021; 12(3):282. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030282

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stefanuk, Michael A., and Ryan K. Danby. 2021. "Accumulated Heating and Chilling Are Important Drivers of Forest Phenology and Productivity in the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks Conservation Corridor of Eastern North America" Forests 12, no. 3: 282. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030282

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