Acid rain, air pollution, and tree growth in southeastern New York
Whether dendroecological analyses could be used to detect changes in the relationship of tree growth to climate that might have resulted from chronic exposure to components of the acid rain-air pollution complex was determined. Tree-ring indices of white pine (Pinus strobus L.), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Cart.), pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill.), and chestnut oak (Quercus prinus L.) were regressed against orthogonally transformed values of temperature and precipitation in order to derive a response-function relationship. Results of the regression analyses for three time periods, 1901–1920, 1926–1945, and 1954–1973 suggest that the relationship of tree growth to climate has been altered. Statistical tests of the temperature and precipitation data suggest that this change was nonclimatic. Temporally, the shift in growth response appears to correspond with the suspected increase in acid rain and air pollution in the Shawangunk Mountain area of southeastern New York in the early 1950's. This change could be the result of physiological stress induced by components of the acid rain-air pollution complex, causing climatic conditions to be more limiting to tree growth.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Acid rain, air pollution, and tree growth in southeastern New York|
|Series title||Journal of Environmental Quality|
|Publisher||Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|