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Title: Frequencies of Multivariate Air Masses Drive Tree Growth
Abstract

Midlatitude surface meteorological conditions are embedded within—and affected by—synoptic‐scale systems, including the movement and persistence of air masses (AMs). Changes in AM frequencies (number of daily occurrences) over the past several decades could have large effects on ecosystems: each organism is exposed to the synergistic effects of the entire suite of atmospheric variables acting upon it—an inherently multivariate environment—which is best captured using AMs. Utilizing a global‐scale AM classification system and a large network of tree‐ring chronologies, we investigate how variation in AM frequency impacts tree growth at over 900 locations. We find that AM frequencies are well‐correlated with tree growth, especially in the 12‐month period from July in the year prior to growth through June in the year of growth. The most impactful AMs are Dry‐Warm and Humid‐Cool AMs, which exhibit average correlations ofρ = −0.4 andρ = +0.4 with tree growth, respectively, for certain tree species, with correlations at some sites exceedingρ =  ±0.8 in some seasons. Compared to empirical models based solely on temperature and precipitation, modeling using only AM frequencies proved superior at nearly 60% of the sites and for over 80% of the well‐sampled (n ≥ 10) species. These results should provide a foundation for using AMs to improve forecasts of tree growth, tree stress and wildfire potential. Long‐term reconstructions of AM frequencies back several centuries may also be feasible using tree‐ring data, which will help contextualize and temporally extend multivariate perspectives of climate change that utilize such air masses.

 
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Award ID(s):
2001753
NSF-PAR ID:
10419650
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume:
128
Issue:
3
ISSN:
2169-8953
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Variate    Description year    year of the observation method    methods of poplar biomass sampling date    day of the observation (mm/dd/yyyy) replicate    each crop has four replicated plots, R1, R2, R3 and R4 diameter_at_ground    poplar diameter (milliMeter) at the ground diameter_at_15cm    poplar diameter (milliMeter) at 15 cm height biomass_tree    biomass per plot (Grams_Per_Tree) biomass_ha    biomass (megaGrams_Per_Hectare) by multiplying biomass per tree with 0.01 4. Spreadsheet: annual N leaching_vol-wtd conc Description: Annual leaching rate (kiloGrams_N_Per_Hectare) and volume-weighted mean N concentrations (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) of nitrate (no3) and dissolved organic nitrogen (don) in the leachate samples collected from corn, switchgrass, miscanthus, native grass, restored prairie and poplar plots in Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Biomass Cropping System Experiment (BCSE) during 2009-2016. 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  4. Abstract

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