Radial growth response of Pinus densiflora and Quercus spp. to topographic and climatic factors in South Korea

Jae Gyun Byun, Woo Kyun Lee, Moonil Kim, Doo Ahn Kwak, Hanbin Kwak, Taejin Park, Woo Hyuk Byun, Yowhan Son, Jung Kee Choi, Young Jin Lee, Joachim Saborowski, Dong Jun Chung, Jin Hyun Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


AimsThis study aimed to develop radial growth models and to predict the potential spatial distribution of Pinus densiflora (Japanese red pine) and Quercus spp. (Oaks) in South Korea, considering topographic and climatic factors.MethodsWe used a dataset of diameter at breast height and radial growth estimates of individual trees, topographic and climatic factors in systematic sample plots distributed over the whole of South Korea. On the basis that radial growth is attributed primarily to tree age, we developed a radial growth model employing tree age as an explanatory variable. We estimated standard growth (SG), defined as radial growth of the tree at age 30, to eliminate the influence of tree age on radial growth. In addition, SG estimates including the Topographic Wetness Index, temperature and precipitation were calculated by the Generalized Additive Model.Important FindingsAs a result of variogram analysis of SG, we found spatial autocorrelation between SG, topographic and climatic factors. Incremental temperature had negative impacts on radial growth of P. densiflora and positive impacts on that of Quercus spp. Precipitation was associated with positive effects on both tree species. Based on the model, we found that radial growth of P. densiflora would be more vulnerable than that of Quercus spp. to climatic factors. Through simulation with the radial growth model, it was predicted that P. densiflora stands would be gradually replaced with Quercus spp. stands in eastern coastal and southern regions of South Korea in the future. The models developed in this study will be helpful for understanding the impact of climatic factors on tree growth and for predicting changes in distribution of P. densiflora and Quercus spp. due to climate change in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-392
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Plant Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct


  • climate change
  • forest-cover change
  • general additive modelclimatic factors
  • standard radial growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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