Dendrochronological analysis of growth decline of Korean conifers in Urban and Rural areas
Keywords:Forest decline, Dendroecology, Growth trend, Pinus densiflora, Pinus thunbergii, Pinus rigida, Pinus koraiensis
This study was conducted to examine the growth trends of the pines growing in three regions of Korea. Two regions, Seoul and Ulsan were selected as polluted areas, and one region, Pyungchang as un-polluted area. From each region, five sampling sites were selected. From each site, two major pine species were chosen and ten dominant or co-dominant trees of each species were sampled. Visual comparison using the pointer-year method was used to quantify abrupt growth changes. Some species indicated short-term decline but we could not find persistent growth declines in all regions. Most of short-term declines appeared to be related to either climate variation or non-anthropogenic factors such as insects. At present, it is uncertain that air pollution reduced the growth of trees.