University Of Tasmania

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A 1700-year Athrotaxis selaginoides tree-ring width chronology from southeastern Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:19 authored by Kathryn AllenKathryn Allen, Fenwick, P, Palmer, JG, Nichols, SC, Cook, ER, Buckley, BM, Baker, PJ
Few Southern Hemisphere tree-ring chronologies exceed 1000 years in length. We present a ca. 1700 years of indexed values for the long-lived conifer Athrotaxis selaginoides at Cradle Mt in southeastern Australia and compare it with the only other published millennial-plus length tree-ring chronology for Australia: the nearby Mt Read Lagarostrobos franklinii. We use simple correlation function and pointer year analyses to compare the climate responses of the two species (temperature, precipitation and growing degree days). Both chronologies show accelerated growth at their modern ends, but this growth acceleration is not synchronous, beginning approximately a quarter of a century earlier at the Cradle Mt site. This discrepancy may highlight the relevance of chronology composition and/or physiological differences in the species. Although the seasonality of the climatic responses of the two species is similar, that of A. selaginoides is generally weaker than that of L. franklinii. Somewhat paradoxically, the only pointer years in common between the chronologies are 1898 and 1908 CE. The periods from 600 to 900 CE and ∼1200–1450 CE are conspicuous for their absence of positive pointer years while no negative pointer years occur for either site from ∼1200–1350 CE. It is possible that differing patterns of pointer years can be partially explained by a peak in establishment from ∼1150–1850 CE at the Mt Read L. franklinii site compared to continuous establishment at Cradle Mt. Although statistically significant and time-stable climate responses for the A. selaginoides chronology are too weak to base a single-chronology climate reconstruction on, the long chronology will likely make an important contribution to future multi-proxy temperature reconstructions for southeastern Australia.


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School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Elsevier Science Bv

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Copyright 2017 Elsevier GmbH

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Socio-economic Objectives

Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires); Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified; Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences