Alex W. Dye

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Amy Hessl

Committee Co-Chair

Jamison Conley

Committee Member

Eungul Lee

Committee Member

Jason McLachlan

Committee Member

Nicholas Skowronski


The below dissertation is organized into three individual standalone manuscripts supporting the overarching theme of reconstructing annual aboveground biomass growth in temperate forests of eastern North America using dendrochronological applications. Each manuscript is organized with the intent of submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The first manuscript validated the technique I use throughout my dissertation by comparing tree-ring derived estimates of annual aboveground productivity with estimates from co-located or nearby permanent remeasurement plots at Howland, Maine, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts, and Fernow, West Virginia. The second manuscript investigated the size-related distribution of biomass growth at 16 eastern U.S. forest sites and compared results with United States Forest Service inventory plot data. The goal of this manuscript was to determine where, structurally, biomass was allocated in forests and whether these quantities changed over time and between forests. The third manuscript was inspired by the results of my second chapter. Here, I investigated whether the degree of asymmetry, or the slope of the linear regression between tree diameter and growth, is a useful indicator of total forest productivity. Previous studies linking asymmetry and productivity have been inconclusive, and this chapter evaluates consistency or lack of consistency across the same 16-site eastern U.S. forest network.