Permanent forest plots (PSP) were used to investigate long-term basal-area tree growth rates across the boreal forests in Canada. The objectives were to discern whether or not these rates i) are similar across the boreal zone and ii) correlate to change in climate from 1970 to 2010. The results show that rates vary by region, with decreasing growth rates for about 60% of individual trees in western Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) but increasing rates for about 70% of individual trees in eastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec). These changes are interpreted from an overall carbon sequestration perspective and within the context of available precipitation and air temperature data and an annual climate moisture index. This study provides long-term plot-based evidence for the ecological variability and regional differences in tree growth detected by satellite-based remote-sensing and tree-ring studies in Canada's boreal forests.
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Vol. 21 • No. 3–4