The objective of this study was to track changes in growth and dendroclimatic response of white oak (Quercus alba) trees that established in the forest interior and, following the creation of an artificial lake, continued living along the lake edge. Twenty-one white oaks from the lake edge were cored and 91% of the trees exhibited a growth response to the creation of the lake – most commonly a suppression. Two 32 y segments (pre-lake and post-lake) were compared for differences in dendroclimatic response. The tree-ring chronology from the pre-lake time period had significant negative correlations between ring width index (RWI) and temperature in Jun.; significant positive correlations between RWI and precipitation from Jun. of the previous year; significant positive correlations between RWI and precipitation in Mar. of the current year; and significant positive correlations between RWI and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) in Jul. After lake construction, the same trees exhibited significant positive correlations between RWI and Jul. temperature from the previous year; significant negative correlations between RWI and temperature in Feb. and May; significant positive correlations between RWI and precipitation in Sep.; and significant positive correlations between RWI and PDSI in Jun., Jul., Aug. and Sep. Most trees that experienced transitions from interior to edge positions responded with a decline in growth rate and a moderate change in dendroclimatic responsiveness.
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Vol. 163 • No. 1