Searching for Specific Measures of Physiological Stress in Forest Ecosystems
Subtle changes in climate, atmospheric chemistry, or management policies may eventually lead to shifts in ecosystem structure. Stresses may occur before shifts in structure are evident. Insights regarding the development of stress can be obtained by monitoring decreases in photosynthetic or growth efficiency. Where decreases in efficiency are noted, additional selective measures are suggested to confirm physiological limitations and to help distinguish stress induced by drought from pollution or management policies. Changes in carbon partitioning, nutrient balance, biochemical indices, and stable isotope composition help identify probable sources of stress. Confirmation requires experimentation and regional assessment across confirmed environmental gradients.
KeywordsIsotopic Composition Forest Ecosystem Free Amino Acid Tree Ring Specific Leaf Area
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