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Climatic response of Pinus cembroides Zucc. radial growth in Sierra del Cubo, Guanajuato, Mexico

Carlón Allende, Teodoro, Mendoza, Manuel E., Villanueva Díaz, José, Li, Yanmei
Trees 2018 v.32 no.5 pp. 1387-1399
Pinus cembroides, climate change, climatic factors, dendrochronology, forest ecosystems, forest growth, forests, habitats, models, rain, rivers, temperature, winter, Mexico
KEY MESSAGE: Pinus cembroides exhibits an excellent potential for dendrochronological studies on the basis of statistical parameters and its response to climatic variables, in particular seasonal winter–spring precipitation. Studies of forest growth under induced climatic variations allow estimating the intensity of impacts on forest ecosystems and understanding them. In the present study, the climatic response of Pinus cembroides radial increase was evaluated based on precipitation and average temperature (maximum, minimum and mean temperature). The study was carried out in Sierra del Cubo, Guanajuato, in the upper course of the Laja River. A correlation response function analysis was used to evaluate P. cembroides growth in response to climatic factors. Correlation analysis indicates that P. cembroides growth is positively associated with precipitation of October and December of the previous year, as well as with January–February, May–August and October of the current-year precipitation. Regarding temperatures, the average minimum temperature of the previous December and of January and May of the current year favored P. cembroides growth. Mean and maximum average temperature had a negative influence on annual radial growth. Response function analysis indicates that P. cembroides response to precipitation was quite unstable for the 1925–2011 period and possibly affected by climatic anomalies recorded over the last decades. The main climatic factors exerting a dominant effect on P. cembroides radial growth are, first, the winter–spring seasonal rainfall and, second, the average winter temperature. P. cembroides forests in Sierra del Cubo are highly affected by environmental variables, and its habitat could decline if winters tend to be drier and temperatures are higher as it is predicted to occur by Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change models.