Tree-ring based high-resolution temporal climate and environmental change in Corsica in the Late Holocene

Third party funded individual grant

Start date : 01.12.2008

End date : 30.07.2012

Project details

Scientific Abstract

A dendroclimatological and dendrochemical study on living Pinus nigra laricio trees in Corsica shall reveal the specie’s ecological response to climate change and climate differentiation at the timberline at annual resolution. The study will be based on ring width and latewood density measurements of a spatially dense sampling network. The oldest living trees sampled so far show up to 850 tree rings and are among the oldest in the western Mediterranean region. Due to the alignment along climatic gradients, the selected sites show different climatic sensitivity to cold, wet, warm and dry recent conditions and can thus represent regional climatic trends of different climatic variables. Stable oxygen and carbon isotope variability in wood cellulose will be measured at annual resolution at sites with time series of more than 520 years, spanning the major part of the Little Ice Age. Image analysis of variations of the tracheid properties will provide information about growth-controlling climate variations at an intra-annual scale and will supplement the interpretation of the density measurements. The spatial data achieved by tree material shall be compared with other climate proxies such as montane vegetation distribution, potential treeline position, temporary snowline (remote sensing data), and will be calibrated against data of modern isotopic composition of surface waters and maximum snowline depression. Corsica is located in a climatic key position in the track of Mediterranean cyclones. The study is dedicated to late Holocene mountain climatic change and will contribute new data of the Mediterranean area, which will be strongly affected by warming and drying in the next decades.


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