Modelling the effect of temperature on height increment of Scots pine at high latitudes
The effect of temperature and precipitation on the height increment of Pinus sylvestris (L.) was modelled using data gathered from a total of 49 felled sample trees from five stands of Scots pine located along a latitudinal transect from the Arctic Circle up to the northern timberline in Finland. A multilevel mixed effects model and cross-correlation analysis of prewhitened time series was used to analyse the dependence between height increment and monthly meteorological observations. The effect of the mean July temperature of the previous year on height increment proved to be very strong at high latitudes (r > 0.7). The mean November temperature of the year before the previous affected statistically significantly on height increment in the three northernmost stands. There was no correlation between height increment and precipitation in any of the sites. The final height increment model based on all stands included tree age, long-term mean temperature sum of site, and the mean July temperature of the previous year as independent variables. According to the model, one degree’s change in July temperature results on average in 1.8 cm change in the next year’s height increment. There was a modest but significant polynomial age-effect. The proportion of explained variance (at the year level) was 74%. The July temperature dependence on height increment was shown to be very strong, suggesting a high value of height increment in climate modelling at the tree line.
Received 2 July 2004 Accepted 14 October 2005 Published 31 December 2005