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Forests 2016, 7(10), 235;

Climatic Sensitivity of a Mixed Forest Association of White Spruce and Trembling Aspen at Their Southern Range Limit

Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, Natural Resources Building, 480 Wilson Road, Room 126, East Lansing, MI 48824-1222, USA
Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, 226 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC 29634-0303, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jesus Julio Camarero, Raúl Sánchez-Salguero and Juan Carlos Linares
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 26 September 2016 / Accepted: 30 September 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Growth Response to Environmental Stress)
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Climatic sensitivity of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) was examined growing in association with trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) at their southern limit of distribution in a transitional ecotone between the southern boreal forest and northern prairie region. The study was carried out in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park (SWPP) located in southwestern Manitoba, Canada. The dry regional climate restricted trembling aspen growth during the growing season via moisture deficiency and temperature induced drought stress. Warm, mild winters also negatively affected radial growth of trembling aspen. Growth of white spruce was moderated by conditions within the aspen stands as radial growth patterns showed low variability from year to year, a low common growth signal, and a stronger response to temperature than to precipitation. Nonetheless, the dry regional climate still restricted growth of white spruce during the growing season via temperature induced drought stress. The findings of the study for white spruce support the stress gradient hypothesis in which facilitative interactions between tree species are expected under harsher environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate; dendrochronology; drought stress; Picea glauca; Populus tremuloides climate; dendrochronology; drought stress; Picea glauca; Populus tremuloides

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Chhin, S.; Wang, G.G. Climatic Sensitivity of a Mixed Forest Association of White Spruce and Trembling Aspen at Their Southern Range Limit. Forests 2016, 7, 235.

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