“A compilation of forest growth rates and climate for a large number of forests around the globe indicates that growing season length and temperature account for most of the variance in growth between widely varying forests. (e.g. between tropical and boreal forests) This effect is most likely a result of direct temperature effects on the physiology of the tree, that is, warmer canopies fix more carbon, so there is more growth. However, in light of the current paradigm explaining growth rates as a consequence of nutrient limitations, an alternate explanation exists. It is possible that the temperature effect is indirect, a result of differences in soil temperatures, causing differences in microbial activity, hence mineralization rates. In this manner, warmer environments provide a greater nutrient availability, resulting in faster annual growth rates.”
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