We examined the effects of climate (i.e. temperature, precipitation, moisture index, river discharge) on the radial growth of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) in two contrasting microhabitats (floodway versus terrace) in relation to an elevational and moisture gradient along the banks of the Red Cedar River, Michigan. We hypothesized that trees growing on the terrace sites would have a greater sensitivity to climatic factors than trees growing in the floodway. Increment cores were sampled and crossdated from dominant and co-dominant trees in the floodway and terrace sites and standardized growth chronologies were developed. Mean sensitivity, standard deviation, percentage of absent rings, and intertree correlation were generally greater for eastern white pine on the terrace compared to the floodway forests. Dendroclimatic relationships were examined with bootstrapped correlation analysis, which indicated that radial growth of eastern white pine in both floodway and terrace sites was negatively associated with summer temperature (i.e. June and July) of the current growing season. Radial growth in both floodway and terrace sites were positively related to current May precipitation, moisture index, and river discharge. Dendroclimatic response of eastern white pine in floodway and terrace sites differed in that the effect of summer moisture stress was more persistent in the terrace sites into later summer (i.e. current July ) whereas floodway sites showed a negative response to prior-year May precipitation and moisture index. Although precipitation and hydrological conditions of the river were generally favorable during the summer months, which appeared to have promoted soil moisture recharge, flooding in early winter (i.e. prior November) had a negative impact on growth in both microhabitats. The effect of winter river discharge was significantly negative in January (t) in the floodway sites compared to the terrace sites.
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Vol. 69 • No. 2