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A Series of Researches on The Response of Tree Radial Growth to Global Changes


Tree growth of boreal forest plays an important role on global carbon (C) cycle, while tree growth in the western Canadian boreal mixed forests has been predicted to be negatively affected by regional drought. Individual tree growth can be controlled by many factors, such as competition, climate, tree size and age. However, information about contributions of different factors to tree growth is still limited in this region. In order to address this uncertainty, tree rings of two dominant tree species, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss), were sampled from boreal mixed forest stands distributed across Alberta, Canada. Tree growth rates over different time intervals (10 years interval, 1998–2007; 20 years interval, 1988–2007; 30 years interval, 1978–2007)were calculated to study the effects of different factors (tree size, competition, climate, and age) on tree growth. Results indicated that tree growth of two species were both primarily affected by competition or tree size, while climatic indices showed less effects on tree growth. Growth of trembling aspen was significantly affected by inter- and intraspecific competition, while growth of white spruce was primarily influenced by tree size, followed by competition. Positive relationship was found between growth of white spruce and competition index of coniferous group, suggesting an intraspecific mutualism mechanism within coniferous group. Our results further suggested that competition driven succession was the primary process of forest composition shift in the western Canadian boreal mixed forest. Although drought stress increased tree mortality, decline of stem density under climate change released competition stress of surviving trees, which in turn sustained growth of surviving trees. Therefore, climatic indices showed fewer effects on growth of dominant tree species compared to other factors in our study. The result have been published in Science of the Total EnvironmentIF=4.900,

Increasing N deposition caused by intensive anthropogenic activities is expected to affect forest growth. However, the effects of N deposition on trees are still controversial due to the wide variability in results and experimental methods used. We conducted an experiment involving both canopy and understory N addition to investigate the effects of N-addition on intra-annual xylem formation of Chinese sweetgum (Liquidambar formosana) in a warm-temperate forest of Central China. Since 2013, 50 kg N ha􀀀-1year􀀀1 (2.5 times the current natural N deposition) was applied monthly from April to December. In 2014 and 2015, the timing and dynamics of xylem formation were monitored weekly during March–December by microcoring the stems of control and treated trees. Similar dynamics of wood formation were observed between canopy and understory N addition. Xylem formation of all the experimental trees started in March and lasted for 119–292 days. Compared to the control, no change was observed in the timing and dynamics of wood formation in N-treated trees. Tree ring-width ranged between 1701 and 4774 mm, with a rate of xylem production of 10.52–26.64 mm day􀀀-1. The radial growth of trees was not modified by the treatments. Our findings suggest that short-term N addition is unable to affect the dynamics of xylem formation in Chinese sweetgum in Central China. The effects of N on tree growth observed in previous studies might be related to the duration of the experiment or the imbalance between the amount of natural deposition and N added during treatments. The result have been published in Frontiers in Plant ScienceIF=4.298, 
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