A large-scale coherent signal of canopy status in maximum latewood density of tree rings at arctic treeline in North America

Pieter S.A. Beck, Laia Andreu-Hayles, Rosanne D'Arrigo, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Compton J. Tucker, Jorge E. Pinzón, Scott J. Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compared tree-ring width (TRW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) chronologies to remotely sensed indices of productivity (NDVI) and snowmelt since 1981 and to the instrumental temperature record at four arctic treeline sites in North America. Our results show that at these sites, TRW chronologies reflect temperatures less consistently than the MXD chronologies do and that the NDVI does not correlate significantly with TRW at high-frequency, i.e. when comparing yearly values. In contrast, the MXD chronologies correlate positively and significantly with NDVI and temperature during the growing season at all sites. Neither TRW or MXD chronologies appeared consistently influenced by the annual timing of snowmelt. A comparison of tree-ring chronologies and temperatures since 1900 confirms that MXD has tracked growing season temperature at these treeline sites throughout the past century. A spatial evaluation of the correlations further reveals that each of the MXD chronologies investigated here reflects interannual variation in NDVI and growing season temperatures across a large geographic region. As a result, they collectively provide a spatially comprehensive record of historic early-season canopy status as well as growing season temperatures for the high latitudes of North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arctic tundra
  • Boreal forest
  • High latitudes
  • Normalized difference vegetation index
  • Remote sensing
  • Tree ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Oceanography

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