What Are Contemporary Mexican Conifers Telling Us? A Perspective Offered from Tree Rings Linked to Climate and the NDVI along a Spatial Gradient

2022 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​What Are Contemporary Mexican Conifers Telling Us? A Perspective Offered from Tree Rings Linked to Climate and the NDVI along a Spatial Gradient​
Pompa-García, M.; Vivar-Vivar, E. D.; Sigala-Rodríguez, J. A. & Padilla-Martínez, J. R. ​ (2022) 
Remote Sensing14(18) art. rs14184506​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14184506 

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Pompa-García, Marín; Vivar-Vivar, Eduardo D.; Sigala-Rodríguez, José A.; Padilla-Martínez, Jaime R. 
Forest structure and composition have changed rapidly worldwide, presenting tendencies towards an increasing proportion of younger trees. From chronologies of tree-ring indices (TRI) and the reconstruction of the basal area increment (BAI), a dendroecological study was conducted from the perspective of the radial growth of twelve contemporary conifer species in a highly diverse region of the planet. From an elevational perspective, the TRI were associated with climate and the NDVI, while the BAI was also modeled as a potential proxy for forest productivity. Climate affects the species differently according to elevation: at 1900 m asl, Pinus caribaea, P. oocarpa and P. jeffreyi presented the lowest sensitivities to climate and drought. For their part, species occupying the intermediate part of the gradient (1901–3000 m asl), such as P. engelmannii, P. patula, P. johannis and P. maximartinezii, were very sensitive to maximum temperature (TMax), precipitation (PP) and drought during the winter–spring period. Finally, of the species distributed on the upper part of the gradient (>3000 m asl), only Abies religiosa was associated with TMax and drought; Juniperus deppeana, A. hickelii and P. hartwegii did not seem to be vulnerable to drought. Complementarily, we found significant differences in the BAI as a function of elevation, with the sites at 1001–1500 m asl presenting higher BAI. The results suggest that the growth in these forests is impacted by droughts and follows a distinct spatial pattern, with greater restriction found in mid-elevation forests. Consistent implications are also observed in BAI trends. For its part, the NDVI demonstrated a decreasing tendency in greenness from south to north, although no elevation pattern was evident. The combined proxies utilized here produced parameters that improve our understanding of forest growth and should be considered in vegetation dynamics models in order to reduce their uncertainty in the face of climate vulnerability. These forests must be sustainably managed, and it is therefore crucial to determine the influence of ecological variables on their growth.
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Remote Sensing 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Forstökonomie und nachhaltige Landnutzungsplanung 
Dendroecology; BAI; NDVI; Forest growth; Bioclimatic gradients



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