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Consistent dendrochronological response of the dioecious Salix arctica to variation in local snow precipitation across gender and vegetation types

Schmidt, N. M., C. Baittinger, J. Kollmann and M. C. Forchhammer . 2010. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 42:471-475


Dendroclimatological reconstructions may be influenced by intraspecific variation in radial growth caused by plant gender and ecotypic differentiation. We examined the growth response of the High Arctic Salix arctica to interannual variation in snow precipitation in Zackenberg, NE Greenland. Tree ring examinations revealed a consistent response of annual radial growth in this dwarf shrub to variation in the amount of snow precipitation across gender and across three distinct vegetation types. Annual growth, however, differed between vegetation types. These results are discussed with respect to an improved understanding of the factors limiting the growth of S. arctica, which can be used for future reconstructions of climatic conditions, especially in remote High Arctic regions.