Growth-climate response of Jack pine on clay soils in northeastern Canada.
Aurélie Genries, Igor Drobyshev, Yves Bergeron.
We used tree-ring data from a major North American boreal tree species, Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), to decipher spatial and temporal tree-growth responses to climate variability within the area of northwestern Quebec and northeastern Ontario. Fifteen sites with clay soils were selected and grouped into North and South sub-regions at approximately 49°N and 50°N, respectively. Tree-ring chronologies were analyzed through a response function for the years 1951–2000 to identify growth-limiting climate factors. Increased precipitation in June in the previous year and a warm month of April this year favored radial growth whereas higher temperature in September and increased precipitation in October, both of the previous year, and current June precipitation were negatively related to growth. There was a clear difference in climatic response between the southern and northern sub-regions: southern sites were more responsive to temperature dynamics while on northern sites Jack pine growth appeared negatively influenced by an excess of precipitation. Soil conditions, with larger areas covered by less water permeable clay deposits in the northern sub-region, explain this result.If recently observed trends towards warmer springs continue, Jack pine may increase its radial growth in the study area. However, increases in fall precipitation, also predicted under the future climate, may offset the positive effect of previous years weather on clay sites.