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Title: Age-dependent responses of tree-ring growth and intra-annual density fluctuations of Pinus pinaster to Mediterranean climate
Authors: Vieira, Joana 
Campelo, Filipe 
Nabais, Cristina 
Issue Date: 2009
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/POCI/58680/PT 
Serial title, monograph or event: Trees
Volume: 23
Issue: 2
Abstract: Dendrochronology generally assumes that climate-growth relationships are age independent once the biological growth trend has been removed. However, tree physiology changes with age, namely photosynthetic capacity and hydraulic conductivity. We tested whether the radial growth response to climate and the intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) of Pinus pinaster Ait. varied with age. Trees were sampled in Pinhal de Leiria (Portugal), and were divided in two age-classes: young (<65 years-old) and old (>115 year-old). Earlywood and tree-ring width of young P. pinaster trees were more sensitive to climate influence while the response of latewood width to climate was stronger in old trees. Young trees start the growing season earlier, thus a time window delay occurs between young and old trees during which wood cells of young trees integrate environmental signals. Young trees usually have a longer growing season and respond faster to climate conditions, thus young P. pinaster trees presented a higher frequency of IADFs compared with old trees. Most of the IADFs were located in latewood and were positively correlated to autumn precipitation. The radial-growth response of P. pinaster to climate and the IADFs frequency were age dependent. The use of trees with different age to create a tree-ring chronology for climate studies can increase the resolution of climatic signals. Age-dependent responses to climate can also give important clues to predict how young and old trees react to climate change.
DOI: 10.1007/s00468-008-0273-0
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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