Estimating annual growth losses from drought in loblolly pine plantationsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Growth data over the past 10 years from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations established across the natural range of the species were linked with annual rainfall data over the same period to evaluate the impact of drought on stand growth. Regression procedures were used to determine (1) whether dominant height growth or basal area growth or perhaps both were correlated with local rainfall, (2) whether annual rainfall was a significant predictor of annual growth in the presence of other stand and site variables, and (3) whether prediction equations could be developed that would provide reasonable estimates of growth loss during periods of drought. Results show that basal area growth but not dominant height growth is correlated with rainfall for these data. A prediction equation was developed that can be used to estimate the effect of rainfall on annual basal area growth. The equation should be useful for forest managers needing to estimate basal area and volume growth losses due to drought conditions in loblolly pine plantations.