Dendroclimatologists often approach field work with the intent of reconstructing a particular climate variable (e.g. temperature, streamflow, precipitation). Although guidelines exist for species and site selection, isolating the signal of interest is difficult in areas with complex terrain or a lack of ideal sites. In this case study, I suggest climatological techniques for a more efficient sampling scheme and apply these techniques to identify criteria for selecting sites sensitive to winter precipitation in the north-central Rocky Mountains. These techniques include examining factors influencing the regional response of tree growth to climate by utilizing the International Tree-Ring Databank (ITRDB), using eigenvector analyses to identify modes of variability between sites, and delineating climate regions based on the variable of interest through climate regionalization. Results suggest that low- or mid-elevation Pseudotsuga menziesii sites should be targeted for maximizing the winter precipitation signal in the case study area. The season of precipitation impacting growth was found to be a major component of the overall variability between sites.
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Vol. 67 • No. 1