Climate Response of Metasequoia glyptostroboides Inferred from Tree Rings, Secrest Arboretum, Wooster, Ohio, USA

Lauren J. Vargo, Gregory Wiles, Nicholas Wiesenberg, Christopher J. Williams, Ken Cochran

Abstract


Metasequoia glyptostroboides, a deciduous gymnosperm, also known as dawn redwood, was thought to be extinct until living members of the species were found in China in 1943. Analyzing the climate response of a transplanted stand of the trees can give insights into their physiological plasticity, into their use in restoration and reforestation, as well as into interpreting the environmental conditions of the geologic past from fossil Metasequoia. An annual ring-width chronology—spanning 1955 to 2010 and based on a stand of 19 M. glyptostroboides trees planted in Secrest Arboretum in northeast Ohio, USA—shows negative correlations with maximum monthly temperatures: with the strongest relationship with February and the warm months of June and July, all significant at the 99% confidence levels. A positive May to June precipitation correlation is the strongest moisture signal (p < 0.05) and the narrowest rings in the chronology occurred during the drought of 1987 to 1988, consistent with one of the warmest and driest Junes on record. These results have implications for the future as climate change affects the native and transplanted range of this species. Future response of this species to a changing climate will depend on the relative rates of warming maximum temperatures in the winter and summer, as well as changing moisture conditions during the summer months.

Keywords


Dawn redwoods; tree rings; Metasequoia glyptostroboides; Northeast Ohio; Secrest Arboretum

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ojs.v120i2.7073

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Copyright (c) 2020 Lauren J. Vargo, Gregory Wiles, Nicholas Wiesenberg, Christopher J. Williams, Ken Cochran

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