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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2019

  • Title: Global rise in tree growth synchrony
  • Primary Author: Ruben D. Manzanedo (Harvard Forest)
  • Additional Authors: Neil Pederson (Harvard Forest); Tim Rademacher (Harvard University)
  • Abstract:

    Alterations in the spatiotemporal dynamics of global forests remain a critical uncertainty of climate change. A change in the temporal coherence between populations across space can affect their stability, resilience, and ultimately, their persistence. Increasing spatial synchrony at subcontinental scales has been observed and attributed to climate change, but without a long-term global perspective, it is difficult to understand the importance and the mechanisms behind these changes. Here, we show a steady and unprecedented rise in the synchrony of annual tree growth over the last 50 years, consistent across continents and environmental conditions. These changes coincided with warming trends and rising synchrony in temperature records, suggesting that warmer climate influences the spatial coherence between tree populations and poses additional risks to forests globally.

  • Research Category: Ecological Informatics and Modelling; International Research Projects; Physiological Ecology, Population Dynamics, and Species Interactions