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Forest Growth Response to CO2.

By examining various properties of tree rings, researchers can deduce how historical increases in the air's CO2 concentration have already affected tree productivity and water use efficiency. Duquesnay et al. (1998), for example, analyzed the relative amounts of 12C and 13C present in yearly growth rings of beech trees raised in silviculture regimes in northeastern France, which enabled them to discover that their intrinsic water use efficiencies rose by approximately 33% during the prior century, as the atmosphere's CO2 concentration rose from approximately 280 to 360 ppm. In another case, Rathgeber et al. (2000)1 used tree-ring density data to create an historical productivity baseline for forest stands of Pinus halepensis in southeastern France, from which they determined that the net productivity of such forests would likely increase by 8 to 55% with a doubling of the air's CO2 content.

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