This paper presents a method for classification of trees in groups depending on parameters of the age trend in tree-ring width. The method is tested on a sample containing 194 trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing in the forest-steppe zone of the South of Central Siberia. The climatic response of tree-ring width in such climatic conditions is complex. The influence of temperature in May-September is negative (moisture reducing). Warm-season precipitation serving as a source of moisture is a positive factor. Another positive factor is cold-season precipitation as frost protection. We determined the dependence of this response on the local conditions (soil, landscape and anthropogenic factors). The competitive strength of the trees influences both the sensitivity of individual trees to extreme climatic factors and the timing of growth processes. The latter implies the duration of the period of significant response to climate. It appears promising to take this influence into account in dendroclimatic reconstructions by using separate clusters of trees based on the competitive strength and having the maximum response to the reconstructed factor.

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