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BA Spruce. BA Non. BA MG Table 2 Stand dynamics for overstory and understory tree species across CFI forests. Radial growth and climate response Mean maximum, minimum, and mean summer temperatures have increased over the past century at all sites. Figure 6. Basal area increments for each forest. Forest-level trends in BAI and RFA BAI at MG has continued to increase suggesting that red spruce at these sites may be locally adapted to stressful conditions and are more resilient to climatic changes. Figure 7. Response function analyses for regional ARSTAN chronology with maximum and minimum monthly temperatures and precipitation.

Temporal stability in climate-growth response at a regional and forest-scale Moving interval analysis using a moving 40 year window with the regional ARSTAN chronologies showed that spruce growth had a consistent positive correlation as indicated by dark red bards with wintertime temperatures from the late s until the late s. Figure 3. DendroClim maximum and minimum temperature correlations with forest chronologies. Figure 5. DendroClim correlations with temperature and precipitation with the regional tree-ring chronology. Figure 4. Dendroclim precipitation correlations with forest chronologies.

Disturbance history The four sites I examined experienced varied radial growth dynamics across a gradient of disturbance Fig. Figure 8. Decadal disturbance chronologies for each forest. Non-stable climate growth relationships Temperature had a much stronger influence on red spruce radial growth than precipitation over time across the region and the 4 forests Figs. Precipitation Prior to the s, red spruce at all sites showed a positive response to precipitation and after the s drought, MG and OM showed an increasingly negative correlation with precipitation, while SF and MF continue to have a positive correlation with precipitation.

Non-climatic environmental stressors A variety of factors influence spruce growth in western Massachusetts where climate change is likely to have a large influence on populations at their range margin. Click here for additional data file. Figure S8 MG forest response function analyses for maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation: Response function analyses for MG forest showing correlations with maximum and minimum monthly temperatures and precipitation. Figure S9 OM forest response function analyses for maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation: Response function analyses for OM forest showing correlations with maximum and minimum monthly temperatures and precipitation.

Figure S10 SF forest response function analyses for maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation: Response function analyses for SF forest showing correlations with maximum and minimum monthly temperatures and precipitation. Figure S11 MF forest response function analyses for maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation: Response function analyses for MF forest showing correlations with maximum and minimum monthly temperatures and precipitation.

Additional Information and Declarations Competing Interests The author declares there are no competing interests. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management. Andreu-Hayles et al. Varying boreal forest response to Arctic environmental change at the Firth River, Alaska. Environmental Research Letters. Article Battles et al. Community and population dynamics of spruce-fir forests on Whiteface Mountain, New York: recent trends, — Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Beckage et al. A rapid upward shift of a forest ecotone during 40 years of warming in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Hurricane impacts to tropical and temperate forest landscapes. Ecological Monographs. Agriculture handbook Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods; p. The latitude-elevation relationship for spruce-fir forest and treeline along the Appalachian mountain chain. Conkey Conkey LE. Red spruce tree-ring widths and dnsities in eastern North America as indicators of past climate. Quaternary Research. Decline in old-growth red spruce in western Maine- an analysis of wood density and climate.

Cook Cook ER. PhD Dissertation. A time series approach to tree-ring standardization. Climate change and forest decline: a review of the red spruce case. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Forest decline: modeling the effect of climate in tree rings. Tree Physiology. Copenheaver et al. Identifying dendroecological growth releases in American beech, jack pine, and white oak: Within-tree sampling strategy. Stand and landscape-level disturbance dynamics in old-growth forests in western Massachusetts. The influence of successional processes and disturbance on the structure of Tsuga Canadensis forests.

Ecological Applications. Global and Planetary Change. Driscoll et al. Geophysical Research Letters. Fritts Fritts HC. Tree rings and climate. New York: Academic Press; Forest dynamics and the growth decline of red spruce and sugar maple on Bolton Mountain, Vermont: a comparison of modeling methods. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Historical decline of red spruce population and climatic warming.

Hayhoe et al. Past and future changes in climate and hydrological indicators in the US Northeast. Climate Dynamics. Holmes Holmes R. Computer assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bulletin. Documentation of red spruce growth decline. Age class, longevity and growth rate relationships: protracted growth increases trees in the eastern United States. Climate and red spruce growth and decline in the northern Appalachians. Kosiba et al.

Quantifying the legacy of foliar winter injury on woody aboveground carbon sequestration of red spruce trees. Lazarus et al.

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Landscape-scale spatial patterns of winter injury to red spruce foliage in a year of heavy region-wide injury. Long-term effects of acid rain: response and recovery of a forest ecosystem. Loarie et al. The velocity of climate change. A methodology for estimating canopy disturbance freuency and intensity in dense temperate forests.

Mclaughlin et al. An analysis of climate and competition as contributors to decline of re spruce in high elevation Appalachian forests of the eastern United States. Evidence for a recent increase in forest growth. Genetic variation in germination, growth, and survivorship of red maple in response to subambient through elevated atmospheric CO 2. Global Change Biology. Examination of forest recovery scenarios in a southern Appalachian Picea-Abies forest. Tree species range shifts at a continental scale: new predictive insights from a process-based model.

Journal of Ecology. Geology and hydrology of wetlands in Massachusetts. Radial-growth averaging criteria for reconstructing disturbance histories from presettlement-origin oaks. Forests of the past: a window to future changes. Pinheiro et al. R package version 3. Oregon State University. R: A language and environment for statistical computing.

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Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; Synchronic large-scale disturbances and red spruce growth decline. Scanu Scanu RJ. Soil survey of Berkshire county. Schweingruber Schweingruber FH.

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Three years later, when Vogelmann published his article in Natural History , the decline was still accelerating, and was not confined to Camels Hump. Red spruces of various ages covering an enormous geographical area were dying simultaneously of unknown causes. Vogelmann observed that the greatest damage was occurring in the evergreen forests located at high elevations and on the slopes facing windward: "It is a disaster that, in a few short years, has dramatically changed the appearance of high mountains.

As a result of this sudden decline of the red spruce, scientists in the Northeast began trying to discover as quickly as possible the identity of the destructive forces at work. Forest environments are complex and require time to understand, but time was not on their side. Some prominent scientists viewed the dead evergreens as the omen of an impending environmental disaster, one that could eliminate the red spruce and possibly spread to other forest species.

Yet, without a sound diagnosis, no reliable treatment could be offered to the remaining, embattled spruces. The forest has three great natural enemies—fire, insects, and fungi. In North America, more mature timber has been destroyed by this formidable triumvirate than has been harvested by man. Since no fires of any known consequence had occurred on Camels Hump since , the first of the three could be ruled out.

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This still left a variety of diseases and pests as potential villains. If a recognized insect or fungus could be found attacking the dead and dying red spruce trees, then the cause of the decline would be known quickly and with certainty. Therefore, Vogelmann and the others began their investigations here. Although many insects are known to attack red spruce, only three are voracious enough to kill the trees in large numbers.

The spruce budworm, considered one of the most dangerous of all the forest insects, has devastated more spruces and balsams in the Northeast than any other. Several serious outbreaks of budworm in Canada and New England killed a considerable part of the affected forests. The most catastrophic outbreak on record began in northern Quebec about and spread southward into New England. By the time the epidemic was over in , more than ,, cords of balsam fir and many millions of cords of spruce timber had been destroyed.

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The budworm, a defoliator, eats the buds and new needles of the red spruces in the spring, causing the trees to weaken and often to die. Trees, weakened by the loss of foliage, then become targets of another enemy—the eastern spruce bark beetle—which burrows under the bark of the tree. The tree promptly dies from the attack of the beetles and by the penetration of lethal fungi through the openings made by insects.

The European spruce sawfly is another defoliator; it eats the old needles of the red spruce until the current year's new needles mature; then it eats them too. The sawfly has also caused an enormous loss of mature red spruce timber in the northeastern United States. The last outbreak of spruce sawfly in Vermont occurred in the late s, leaving several thousands of acres of spruce forests in central and southern Vermont severely infested.

Defoliated spruces were also found on Mt. Ellen, Mt. Abraham, and Mt. Modern silvicultural management techniques combined with chemical spraying have helped control insect populations in recent years.

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The war against the spruce budworm and other enemies of the red spruce, however, was not yet won. In spruce-fir forests in Canada and Maine were blighted by another devastating epidemic of spruce budworm. More than 5 million acres of evergreen forests were infested in Maine, the nation's leading producer of paper products.

Therefore, when Vogelmann searched Camels Hump for prime suspects to blame for the dying red spruces, he naturally put insects high on the list. This suspect had to be taken off the list, however, when the scientist reported that "we have not found any insects on Camels Hump that could cause the current mortality. With insects ruled out as the cause of decline, scientists turned their attention to germs. The task of identifying a treekilling disease belongs to the plant pathologist. For the pathologist, the innumerable chemical, microscopic, physical, climatic and environmental components that can be gathered, examined, measured, tested, and analyzed from the ground up provide only half of the story.

The other half remains underground. The roots of many trees are measured in miles. For some, the area of the roots may exceed the area of the tree that towers above. The chemistry of the ground where the roots must live is more diverse and complex than the chemistry of air, and there is a greater variety of visible and invisible life in the ground than above it.

There are more than one hundred thousand species of fungi alone; pick up a gram of dry soil and you will be holding in your hand up to one million fungal spores. That does not even count the myriad bacteria, viruses, and mycoplasma that are borne by the soil. In his fascinating investigation into the decline of the red spruce on Camel Hump in Vermont, Robert A. Mello explores an ecological mystery. He presents, in clear, concise, non-technical language, both sides of an issue which has split the scientific community.

Last Stand of the Red Spruce

Last Stand of the Red Spruce tells us the the time is long past-due to take action on acid rain. Mello urges pressure for legislation to preserve our health and warns us that we can no longer be complacent. Book Description Island Press, Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory GRP More information about this seller Contact this seller.

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