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Changes in Environmental Parameters and Their Impact on Forest Growth in Northern Eurasia

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DOI: 10.4236/acs.2015.52007    2,665 Downloads   3,279 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We performed an empirical investigation of forest growth for two types of forests in northern Eurasia (larches and spruces) in order to show that the sensitivity of trees to the variable climate and geomagnetic field can be seen even under the large-scale average. The main purpose of this research was to model a forest growth rate V for each forest type on the basis of several environmental parameters influencing the tree growth in a high degree and to find the differences and similarities of the larches and spruces’ response to changing environment. We showed that V, which is related to the annual tree-ring width, could be derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. Averaged yearly by species for 1982-2006, it displayed a long-term decrease (most likely related to the global climate change) as well as short-term variations with periods of 2.2, 4 and 8 years. A composite function method was used for modeling. We selected several tree growth drivers (the temperature, precipitation, insolation and the geomagnetic field intensity) that were highly correlated with V, and a function was modeled that described the behavior of V. The correlation coefficients between the derived function and experimental time series were 0.8 for larches and 0.9 for spruces. Compared with spruces, larches demonstrated higher thermo-sensitivity. A loss of tree sensitivity to temperature changes is puzzling for dendroclimatology, as a similar process might have occurred during previous periods of sharp global climate changes (as observed currently). Sensitivity of trees to geomagnetic field changes is confirmed both at long- and short-timescales. Spruces are found to be more magnetosensitive than larches.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Khabarova, O. and Savin, I. (2015) Changes in Environmental Parameters and Their Impact on Forest Growth in Northern Eurasia. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 5, 91-105. doi: 10.4236/acs.2015.52007.

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