Little dendroclimatic research has been conducted on species of Podocarpus, in response to inherent difficulties associated with tree-ring differentiation and cross-dating. We sampled complete stem cross sections from a plantation of Podocarpus salignus trees in Valdivia, Chile, near the southern edge of the species’ range. We measured earlywood, latewood, and total ring widths avoiding ring wedging, and we calculated the corresponding chronologies. The relationship of these chronologies with maximum temperature, precipitation, and sea level pressure was addressed using correlation and redundancy analyses. All chronologies showed a similar response to climate that was consistent with the cloudy, rainy, and temperate conditions of the study area. That is, warm and dry conditions during previous late springs were beneficial, while warm and rainy winters under low atmospheric pressures were detrimental for growth. The observed climatic responses are in contrast to those of conifers from mountainous areas of southern South America. Limitation of carbohydrates available for growth in the following active season was a possible cause for the observed responses to climate. That is, high winter temperatures may deplete stored carbohydrates by increasing respiration, and a high degree of cloud cover reduces the radiation received by the trees in the active season, which may hamper photosynthesis. Our work highlights the dendroclimatological value of Podocarpus salignus to investigate the influence of climatic variation on tree growth and forest productivity.
- Sea level pressure
- Southern South America