Acid rain, air pollution, and tree growth in southeastern New York

Journal of Environmental Quality
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Abstract

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 type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Acid rain, air pollution, and tree growth in southeastern New York
Series title Journal of Environmental Quality
DOI 10.2134/jeq1982.00472425001100030011x
Volume 11
Issue 3
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 6 p.
First page 376
Last page 381