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Regional tree growth and inferred summer climate in the Winnipeg River basin, Canada since AD 1783


Windblown red pine in Quetico Provincial Park.
Windblown red pine, Quetico Provincial Park
Regional tree growth and inferred summer climate in the Winnipeg River basin, Canada since AD 1783

Quaternary Research, Vol. 70, Issue 2, pp. 158-172, September 2008.
doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2008.04.009


Scott St. George1,2,3, David M. Meko2, and Michael N. Evans2,3
1 GSC Northern Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2 Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
3 Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
ABSTRACT:
A network of 54 ring-width chronologies is used to estimate changes in summer climate within the Winnipeg River basin, Canada, since AD 1783. The basin drains parts of northwestern Ontario, northern Minnesota and southeastern Manitoba, and is a key area for hydroelectric power production. Most chronologies were developed from Pinus resinosa and P. strobus, with a limited number of Thuja occidentalis, Picea glauca and Pinus banksiana. The dominant pattern of regional tree growth can be recovered using only the nine longest chronologies, and is not affected by the method used to remove variability related to age or stand dynamics from individual trees. Tree growth is significantly, but weakly, correlated with both temperature (negatively) and precipitation (positively) during summer. Simulated ring-width chronologies produced by a process model of tree-ring growth exhibit similar relationships with summer climate. High and low growth across the region is associated with cool/wet and warm/dry summers, respectively; this relationship is supported by comparisons with archival records from early 19th century fur-trading posts. The tree-ring record indicates that summer droughts were more persistent in the 19th and late 18th century, but there is no evidence that drought was more extreme prior to the onset of direct monitoring.
Download data from the WDC Paleo archive:
Leading principal component of the Winnipeg River basin ringwidth network.
Winnipeg River basin ringwidth data developed in this study from the International Tree Ring Data Bank:
Site Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Species #Trees #Cores Year Span
Onaway Lodge 50.43 93.10 396 PIRE 15 30 1807 - 2004
Maynard Lake 50.38 93.88 321 PIST 17 34 1801 - 2004
Ball Lake 50.32 94.00 319 PIST 18 36 1784 - 2004
Clay Lake 50.06 93.51 376 PIRE 23 46 1776 - 2004
Gordon Lake 49.89 93.75 396 PIRE 17 34 1759 - 2004
Sheila Falls 49.70 93.79 401 THOC 21 37 1853 - 2003
Granite Lake 49.69 94.86 395 PIRE 21 38 1775 - 2004
Hillock Lake 49.69 93.88 413 PIRE 10 19 1875 - 2003
Teggau Lake 49.68 93.67 392 PIRE 13 27 1750 - 2003
Expulsion Bluff 49.67 93.77 430 PIST 11 21 1885 - 2003
Sowden Lake 49.53 91.21 450 PIST 18 36 1767 - 2004
Moose Lake 49.20 95.35 362 PIST 14 28 1897 - 2004
Moose Lake 49.20 95.35 362 PIRE 11 21 1899 - 2004
Turtle Lake 49.18 94.15 305 PIST 15 30 1862 - 2004
Turtle Lake 49.18 94.15 305 PIRE 17 34 1854 - 2004
Brim Lake 49.12 91.13 493 PIST 10 20 1797 - 2003
Caliper Lake 49.07 93.90 339 PIRE 24 49 1836 - 2004
Durie Lake 48.97 91.26 355 PIST 12 24 1846 - 2003
Volcano Bay 48.93 91.81 450 PIST 11 21 1876 - 2003
Eye Lake Ridge 48.89 91.70 440 PIST 16 32 1817 - 2003
Perch Lake 48.72 91.86 631 PIST 15 30 1897 - 2004
Eva Lake 48.71 91.17 424 PIST 16 29 1796 - 2003
French Lake Portage 48.67 91.10 465 THOC 9 18 1878 - 2003
Windigostiwan Lake 48.66 91.09 450 PIST 20 39 1791 - 2004
"The Pines" at Quetico 48.65 91.21 411 PIRE 38 75 1768 - 2003
Greenwood Lake 48.39 90.75 503 PIST 44 85 1732 - 2004

To read or view the full study, please visit the ScienceDirect website.
It is in press, Quaternary Research, doi: 10.1016/j.yqres.2008.04.009
The Corrected Proof is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2008.04.009
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