The direct and indirect effect of fire on radial growth of Pinus koraiensis trees in a northern temperate forest of China
Treść / Zawartość
The long-term effects of fire on the radial growth of Korean pines (Pinus koraiensis) in Changbai Mountain is poorly understood. In order to quantify the impact of fire on the radial growth of Korean pines, we measured ring widths and developed two tree-ring chronologies from 21 burned Korean pine trees that were damaged by fire in 1857 as well as 30 control trees in the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve, China. As expected, the growth rates of the burned trees were slower than those of the control trees in the first five years following the fire. However, beginning six years after the fire, the growth of the burned trees increased considerably, and this period of increased growth lasted 13 years, with moderate growth occurring throughout the 1866 to 1871 period. A difference in growth rates between burned and control tress was also observed for the 20 years since temperatures began markedly increasing in 1980. Burned trees tended to respond negatively to monthly minimum temperature, precipitation, and vapor pressure deficits (VPD), whereas the positive relationship between those factors and radial growth of control trees became stronger. In addition, the significantly negative effect of competition on radial growth was only observed among burned trees. These results demonstrated that the negative and direct effect of damage to physiological plant processes by fire only affected the years shortly after a fire occurred and then became obscured by its indirect effects, such as differential responses to climate and competition, which did persist for a long time. The indirect effect on radial growth over time could be explained by the variability in the relative strength of climatic responses and competition caused by fire.
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