Sensitivity of vessels in black ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh.) to fire and hydro-climatic variables

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Kames, Susanne
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Little research has been conducted on the sensitivity of earlywood vessel in ring-porous tree species in response to flooding. The impact of flooding and climate on vessel characteristics in black ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh.) was studied in the boreal region of Lake Duparquet, northwestern Quebec. In addition to standard tree-ring measurements, numbers and cross-sectional area of earlywood vessels were examined and measured using an image analyzing program. Interestingly, among all Spearman rank correlations between chronologies and hydrologic/climatic variables, the strongest associations were found between earlywood vessel chronologies from floodplain trees and spring river discharge data. High water discharge in the spring was negatively correlated to earlywood vessel area and inversely correlated to number of vessels. The mean earlywood vessel area chronology developed from floodplain trees was found to be the best proxy for high magnitude flood events and it has potential to be used for flood reconstructions.
dendrohydrology, dendroclimatology, Fraxinus nigra, ring-porous, vessels, flooding, southern boreal forest, fire, black ash, tree-rings