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HYDROLOGICAL AND CLIMATIC RESPONSES OF OLD-GROWTH PINUS ELLIOTTII VAR. DENSA IN MESIC PINE FLATWOODS FLORIDA, USA
Brooks, J R. AND C. R. Ford. HYDROLOGICAL AND CLIMATIC RESPONSES OF OLD-GROWTH PINUS ELLIOTTII VAR. DENSA IN MESIC PINE FLATWOODS FLORIDA, USA. ANNALS OF FOREST SCIENCE. INRA/EDP Sciences, 60:385-392, (2003).
Pinus elliottii Englem. var. densa Little & Dorman (Southern Slash Pine) is unique in that it is the only native sub-tropical pine in the USA. Once occupying much of the south Florida landscape, it is now restricted to an estimated 3% of its pre human settlement area. Land managers challenged with preservation of this remaining habitat need basic information on the response of this species to climate fluctuations. In this study, we determine the effects of precipitation, temperature, and river flow on tree-ring growth over the last century on five remnant stands of old-growth trees in Myakka River State Park located at the northern extent of the species range. In general, trees responded positively to flow and precipitation, and negatively to temperature. While growth was positively correlated with precipitation and flow during the dry season months, a neutral response to flow and precipitation during the highest flow and precipitation months was exhibited. Negative correlations with temperature were significant in all seasons except summer. An increase in temperature sensitivity over time was exhibited in all sites during the latter 2 decades of the century. This increase in sensitivity coincided with a 0.2 ?C increase in average annual temperature for the region (P<0.001).