Growth-climate relationships of trees in the Catskill

In April 2008 a network of 10 band dendrometers were installed on oak, hemlock and birch trees in the western Catskill Mountains of New York. Shortly thereafter an automatic logging dendrometer was installed on a hemlock tree. Over the next few years, the dendrometers will be used to monitor changes in stem circumference and investigate their relationship with local climate and weather during the growing season. The project objective is to characterize the pattern of growth from the break of dormancy to its onset (is growth episodic, periodic, continuous?) and establish which climate variables are most important. This information can be used to (a) understand and reconstruct past climate variability from growth patterns recorded in tree rings; and (b) anticipate future growth responses to climate change.

This project is supported by a Student-Faculty Research Technology Support Mini-Grant from the College of Staten Island.

* July 2008 update: click here for hourly temperature and growth data for a birch tree, logged over a five day period




Top: manual band dendrometer installed on a birch tree. Bottom:: Automatic logging dendrometer installed on a hemlock.