PORTLAND, Ore. July 18, 2011. Knowing how trees grow and how they
age may be key to further understanding how trees react to a warmer climate,
for instance, and other changes. Little is known, however, about the cause
of the physical changes associated with tree growth.
Although much research has been done on how the structure and physiological
behavior of trees change as they increase in size,” says research
ecologist Frederick (Rick) Meinzer, “structure and physiology are
often studied separately in relation to size and age.” Meinzer, a
scientist with the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station,
and his colleagues examine the structure and physiology of trees
through a series of scholarly papers compiled in the book, “Size-
and Age-Related Changes in Tree Structure and Function,” published
recently by Springer Science and Business Media.
The book includes chapters
highlighting the implications of these
size- and age-related changes for commercial forestry plantations
with shortened rotations and for predicting how current and future
forests will respond
to climate and other environmental changes. “One of the book’s
chapters discusses how older, larger, trees are less responsive
than younger trees to changing environmental variables such as elevated
chapter shows that larger trees are better buffered against drought
than smaller trees,” adds Meinzer.
Much research remains to be done on how structure and function
change over the lifespan of trees,” says Meinzer, “For example,
little is known about the structure and physiological traits that determine
the survival of tree seedlings during their first year of growth. Yet traits
exhibited at this crucial stage of tree growth are expected to be major
determinants of shifts in tree species distributions as the climate changes.”
Coeditors of this book are Todd Dawson, University of California, Berkeley,
and Barbara Lachenbruch, Oregon State University. To order a copy
of the book visit: http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/forestry/book/978-94-007-1241-6
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon,
and Washington and about 425 employees.