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Forests 2018, 9(12), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120761

Changes in Sensitivity of Tree-Ring Widths to Climate in a Tropical Moist Forest Tree in Bangladesh

1
Institute of Geography, Department of Geography and Geosciences, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
2
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Tree growth in the tropics is strongly influenced by climate. However, reported tree growth responses to climate are largely inconsistent, varying with geographic location, forest type, and tree species. It is thus important to study the growth responses of tropical trees in sites and species that are under-represented so far. Bangladesh, a country influenced by the Asian monsoon climate, is understudied in terms of tree growth response to climate. In the present study, we developed a 121-year-long regional ring-width index chronology of Chukrasia tabularis A. Juss. sampled in two moist forest sites in Bangladesh to investigate tree growth responses to climate in monsoon South Asia. Standard dendrochronological methods were used to produce the ring-width chronologies. The climate sensitivity of C. tabularis was assessed through bootstrap correlation analysis and the stationarity and consistency of climate–growth relationships was evaluated using moving correlation functions and comparing the regression slopes of two sub-periods (1950–1985 and 1986–2015). Tree growth was negatively correlated with the mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures, particularly during the early growing season (March). Likewise, precipitation negatively influenced tree growth in the later growing season (October). Besides, radial growth of Chukrasia sharply ceased in years following strong and moderate El Niño events. In parallel with a significant positive trend in local temperatures, tree growth sensitivity to early growing season (March–April) mean temperatures and July minimum temperatures increased in recent decades. Tree growth sensitivity to October precipitation and April vapor pressure deficit also increased. Overall, climate–growth relationships were stronger during the period 1986–2015 than during 1950–1985. Changes in climate sensitivity might be linked to a warming trend that induced an increase in the dry season length during recent decades. With a further predicted temperature increase at our study sites, our results suggest that radial growth of C. tabularis will further decline in response to climate warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; tropical forests; tree growth; climate sensitivity; El Niño events; global warming; Southeast monsoon Asia climate change; tropical forests; tree growth; climate sensitivity; El Niño events; global warming; Southeast monsoon Asia
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Rahman, M.; Islam, M.; Wernicke, J.; Bräuning, A. Changes in Sensitivity of Tree-Ring Widths to Climate in a Tropical Moist Forest Tree in Bangladesh. Forests 2018, 9, 761.

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