Drivers of radial growth and carbon isotope discrimination of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) across continental gradients in precipitation, vapour pressure deficit and irradiance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/cc08hh34r

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  • Tree-ring characteristics are commonly used to reconstruct climate variables, but divergence from the assumption of a single biophysical control may reduce the accuracy of these reconstructions. Here, we present data from bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) sampled within and beyond the current species bioclimatic envelope to identify the primary environmental controls on ring-width indices (RWIs) and carbon stable isotope discrimination (Δ¹³C) in tree-ring cellulose. Variation in Δ¹³C and RWI was more strongly related to leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit (VPD) at the centre and western edge of the range compared with the northern and wettest regions. Among regions, Δ¹³C of tree-ring cellulose was closely predicted by VPD and light responses of canopy-level Δ¹³C estimated using a model driven by eddy flux and meteorological measurements (R² = 0.96, P = 0.003). RWI and Δ¹³C were positively correlated in the drier regions, while they were negatively correlated in the wettest region. The strength and direction of the correlations scaled with regional VPD or the ratio of precipitation to evapotranspiration. Therefore, the correlation strength between RWI and Δ¹³C may be used to infer past wetness or aridity from paleo wood by determining the degree to which carbon gain and growth have been more limited by moisture or light.
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  • VOELKER, S. L., MEINZER, F. C., LACHENBRUCH, B., BROOKS, J. R. and GUYETTE, R. P. (2014), Drivers of radial growth and carbon isotope discrimination of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) across continental gradients in precipitation, vapour pressure deficit and irradiance. Plant, Cell & Environment, 37: 766–779. doi:10.1111/pce.12196
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