Intra-annual boreal tree growth and water stress responses to environmental changes
In the context of climate change, more research is needed to better understand the impact of short-term environmental stressors on forest productivity. Intra-annual data provide crucial information to achieve this objective. Our project aims to determine the responses of tree growth and water status of boreal tree species (jack pine, black spruce and quaking aspen) under variable meteorological conditions and on contrasted soil surficial deposits using intra-annual measurements from dendrometers. Four monitoring sites were established in the north-west region of Quebec as part of the pan-Canadian Smartforest network. Our experimental design includes sites with mixed forests on contrasting soil types (i.e., clay and sand). At each site, together with detail environmental monitoring, including soil and meteorological conditions, high frequency and precision stem dendrometers are deployed to monitor stem radial variations of a total of 50 trees (20 jack pines, 20 black spruces and 10 quaking aspens). These data are used to quantify the temporal dynamics of intra-annual tree growth (irreversible variation) and water status (reversible variation). Here, we will assess how the environmental variability affects the tree water status of the studied trees during the first growing season and will compare the response of tree growth between sandy and clay sites. Our results contribute to better understand the impact of site-specific conditions and short-time disturbances on growth and water stress of boreal trees. These results have important implications for the prediction of boreal forest productivity in a climate change context.