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Data from: Trade-offs between growth rate, tree size and lifespan of mountain pine (Pinus montana) in the Swiss National Park

Citation

Bigler, Christof (2016), Data from: Trade-offs between growth rate, tree size and lifespan of mountain pine (Pinus montana) in the Swiss National Park, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d2680

Abstract

A within-species trade-off between growth rates and lifespan has been observed across different taxa of trees, however, there is some uncertainty whether this trade-off also applies to shade-intolerant tree species. The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between radial growth, tree size and lifespan of shade-intolerant mountain pines. For 200 dead standing mountain pines (Pinus montana) located along gradients of aspect, slope steepness and elevation in the Swiss National Park, radial annual growth rates and lifespan were reconstructed. While early growth (i.e. mean tree-ring width over the first 50 years) correlated positively with diameter at the time of tree death, a negative correlation resulted with lifespan, i.e. rapidly growing mountain pines face a trade-off between reaching a large diameter at the cost of early tree death. Slowly growing mountain pines may reach a large diameter and a long lifespan, but risk to die young at a small size. Early growth was not correlated with temperature or precipitation over the growing period. Variability in lifespan was further contingent on aspect, slope steepness and elevation. The shade-intolerant mountain pines follow diverging growth trajectories that are imposed by extrinsic environmental influences. The resulting trade-offs between growth rate, tree size and lifespan advance our understanding of tree population dynamics, which may ultimately improve projections of forest dynamics under changing environmental conditions.

Usage Notes

Location

canton of Grisons
Swiss National Park
Switzerland