Tree-Ring Talk

Scaling climate sensitivity: How does spatial aggregation affect estimation of the species–environment relationship?

The practice of aggregation in dendrochronology reveals common climate signals while minimizing non-climatic noise. Especially when analyzed at broad spatial scales, climate emerges as a strong predictor of variability in tree ring width. However, the increasing use of tree ring data to study the impacts of climate change on forests, from local to regional and even global scales, warrants careful thinking about the effect of aggregation on climate sensitivities (i.e., species–environment relationships).

Vegetation responses to long term environmental changes at a savanna-forest boundary

Ongoing anthropogenic changes, such as land-use change, climate changes, and rising CO₂, can alter vegetation distribution and function. Ecotones and biome boundaries, such as at the boundary between savannas and closed forests, may be the most vulnerable to these environmental changes. Here, I use both historical survey data and tree ring records to explore the impacts of ~150 years of past environmental changes on the savanna-forest boundary region of the Midwest US.

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