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Int J Biometeorol. 2006 Mar;50(4):205-14. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

Connections between climatic variables and the growth and needle dynamics of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Estonia and Lapland.

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  • 1Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 16, 96301, Rovaniemi, Finland.


The relationships between climatic variables and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growth and needle dynamics were studied in three stands in Estonia and in four stands located near the northern timberline in Lapland. The trees sampled in Estonia had low correlations with the analysed climatic variables (air temperature, precipitation and indices of atmospheric circulation). Moreover, the weak cross-correlation of the time-series of the Estonian sample trees indicated that Scots pine is affected mainly by local factors in that region. In Lapland, however, height increment and needle production correlated strongly among trees within a stand (mean r=0.45 and 0.46, respectively) and between stands (r=0.32 and 0.37). Radial increment also showed a high inter-correlation among the trees within a stand in Lapland (r=0.45). Both height increment and needle production were strongly influenced by the temperature regime of the previous summer in Lapland (mean r=0.64 and 0.64, respectively). Radial increment was correlated with the mean July temperature of the current year (mean r=0.29). The correlations between the indices of atmospheric circulation and tree attributes were weak, while the strongest correlation was between the Ponta Delgada NAO index (PD-NAO) and height increment and needle production in Lapland. Height increment, needle production and radial increment have increased since the 1990s in the trees growing in Lapland. This may indicate a positive effect of climate warming on tree growth in Lapland. In Estonia, where climatic conditions do not limit tree growth, the climate warming seems not to directly influence the growth and needle dynamics of Scots pine.

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