Within-season woody plant growth: Patterns, characteristics, and sensitivity to weather variation as an indicator of vegetation response to climate change
Harcombe, Paul A.
Master of Science
Aluminum spring-band dendrometers were used to measure within-season tree growth at three sites (dry, mesic, and wet) in the Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas to determine what affects within-season tree growth and if patterns of growth vary among species, sites, and years. Growth patterns were found to differ among sites when the variation among species was removed, and among years and species. Significant interactions implied that trees were responding differentially to weather variation. Temperature, rain, soil moisture, and deficit were found to affect the within-season growth of trees. However, site patterns seemed to mediate the effects of weather, and intrinsic seasonal growth patterns defined how different species responded to weather variation. My results suggest that climate change will differentially affect tree growth, depending on species and how within-season weather patterns change.