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Wood properties in a long-lived conifer reveal strong climate signals where ring-width series do not
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 04:53 authored by Drew, DM, Kathryn AllenKathryn Allen, Downes, GM, Evans, R, Battaglia, M, Baker, P
Although tree-ring-width chronologies have been widely used for temperature reconstructions, there are many sites around the world at which there is little evidence of a clear climate signal in the ring-width chronologies. This is the case with the long-lived conifer Huon pine (Lagarostrobos franklinii (Hook. F.) Quinn), endemic to Tasmania, Australia, when the species grows at low elevation. In this study, we developed chronologies of several wood properties (e.g., tracheid radial diameter, microfibril angle) from Huon pine growing at a low-elevation site. We found that despite the absence of a climate signal in the ring-width chronologies, there were significant correlations between wood density, tracheid radial diameter and microfibril angle and temperature, stream flow and a drought index, enabling the development of robust chronologies. This novel finding suggests that chronologies based on these wood properties may have important potential for climate reconstructions from sites and species that have not yet been realized. In particular, a relatively extensive resource of ancient, low-elevation Huon pine in western Tasmania, in which climate signals have not been found using ring widths, may now be useful as part of the broader effort to reconstruct Southern Hemisphere climate.
Publication titleTree Physiology
Department/SchoolSchool of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
Place of publication202, 3994 Shelbourne St, Victoria, Canada, Bc, V8N 3E2
Rights statementCopyright 2012 The Author