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Original Research Papers

Climatic significance of tree-ring width and δ13C in a Spanish pine forest network

Authors:

Laia Andreu ,

Departament d’Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, ES; Institut für Chemie und Dynamik der Geosphäre, DE
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Octavi Planells,

Departament d’Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, ES
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Emilia Gutiérrez,

Departament d’Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, ES
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Gerhard Helle,

Institut für Chemie und Dynamik der Geosphäre, DE
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Gerhard H. Schleser

GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam, DE
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Abstract

This paper examines tree-ring width and δ13C chronologies from a network of five Iberian pine forests to determine their sensitivity to climate variability under different site conditions. Interseries comparisons revealed better and more homogenous agreement among δ13C records than among tree-ring width series of the different sites. This suggests that δ13C ratios may preferentially record large-scale climatic signals, whereas ring-width variations may reflect more local factors. A negative relationship was found between ring-width and δ13C. As inferred from response function analyses, ring-width and δ13C showed significant relationships with climate. The analyses of different sites and species revealed unshared tree-ring width responses to summer temperature and precipitation, whereas all δ13C series were highly sensitive to current year summer precipitation and, to a lesser extent, to current summer temperature. A strong summer precipitation signal seems to dominate the δ13C of trees growing under Mediterranean climate, even when the mean climatic site conditions do not indicate distinct summer drought. Therefore, δ13C values reflect precipitation variability during the summer season better than tree-ring widths. This demonstrates that δ13C from tree-rings can be a very useful tool for climatic reconstruction in the Mediterranean region, especially when climate-growth relationships are weak.

How to Cite: Andreu, L., Planells, O., Gutiérrez, E., Helle, G. and Schleser, G.H., 2008. Climatic significance of tree-ring width and δ13C in a Spanish pine forest network. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 60(5), pp.771–781. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2008.00370.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2008
 Accepted on 6 Jun 2008            Submitted on 31 Jul 2007

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