The climate–growth relationship of larch (Larix decidua
Mill.) in the Polish Carpathian Mountains was studied. We explored the spatial variability of the common signal observed in larch tree-ring growth, distinguished regions with uniform tree-ring growth patterns (dendrochronological signal), and determined the climatic factors that are particularly important for the growth of larch in this area. Uniformity in the growth reaction across the analyzed area was found in the positive response to May temperatures (significant correlation values range from 0.21 to 0.48); this indicates that the warm beginning of the growing season is important for larch growth across the study area. The signal variability from west to east found in the principal components analysis (PCA) results and differences in climate response between analyzed sites suggest their relation to increasing influence of the continental climate to the east. However, the observed relationship is not stable and does not occur systematically. Although the climate–growth response of larch at lower elevations is highly variable, a positive influence of July precipitation and a negative influence of April precipitation, and previous May and July temperature can be observed. The growth of larch from the highest study sites (Tatra Mountains, above 950 m a.s.l.) is related to temperature. This is manifested by a strong positive correlation with temperature during late spring, early summer, and the end of the previous growing season, and a negative or no response to late spring/summer precipitation. No relation between the observed correlations and slope aspect was found.
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