Soil frost affects stem diameter growth of Norway spruce with delay
Repo, Tapani; Domisch, Timo; Kilpeläinen, Jouni; Mäkinen, Harri (2021)
Trees-structure and function
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Soil temperature and soil frost intensity are affected by the depth of insulating snow cover and the timing of snowmelt which are predicted to change by climate warming. This may increase tree growth if there is less soil freezing or decrease growth if there is no insulating snow cover, but frost temperatures still exist. Previously, we showed that the changes in soil frost by snow manipulations in a ~50-year-old stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in eastern Finland in two winters (2005/2006 and 2006/2007) led to short-term changes in physiology, morphology, and the growth of the shoots and roots. The treatments were: (i) control with natural insulating snow accumulation and melting; (ii) snow removal during winter; and (iii) snow removal in winter and insulation at the top of the forest floor in late winter to delay soil thawing. In this study, we examined lagged effects of those treatments by radial trunk increment cores during the nine-year recovery period after the termination of the treatments. Annual ring width index (AWI) was calculated for each year by normalization of the ring width in the respective year in proportion to the ring width in the last year (2005) before the treatments. No differences in AWI were found between the treatments before or during the snow manipulation period. However, differences started to appear one year after the treatments were finished, became significant four years later in 2011 and lasted for three years. The radial increment was lower in the treatment with snow removed than in the control and in the treatment with insulation to delay soil thawing, but there were no differences between the latter two treatments. The results indicate that a lack of snow cover may not only have short-term impacts but longer-lasting consequences on the radial growth of trees. The positive effects of prolonged growing season by the increasing summer temperatures on forest growth predicted for the boreal region may therefore not be fully realised due to the negative effects of decreased snow cover and increasing soil freezing.
- Julkaisut