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Abstract Detail

A Century Of Wood Anatomy and 75 Years Of IAWA

Verheyden, Anouk [1], Beeckman, Hans [1].

A century of dendrochronology: past, present and future perspectives of tree-ring research.

TREE rings are a well-documented phenomenon in trees of temperate, semi-arid and arid regions. They are produced as a result of the cessation of the cambial activity (dormancy) during the colder and/or drier months and are characterized by an abrupt transition in wood anatomical features from the latewood of the former year to the earlywood of the present year, or by the formation of a boundary layer such as marginal parenchyma. Ring width data provide a direct measurement of the annual wood produced by the tree and are therefore, an indication of the growth conditions the tree has experienced. These ring width measurements are the basis of dendrochronology. Since the work of A.E. Douglass in the beginning of the 20th century, tree ring research has developed into a remarkable science and is nowadays best known from its contributions to dating archeological material, as well as to paleoclimate research. However, interpretation of the ring width data, in particular the statistical procedures used, is still sometimes the topic of heated debates. While dendrochronology is a well-established science in the Northern hemisphere, with chronologies extending as far back as the Younger Dryas, the Southern hemisphere and tropical regions have largely been overlooked. Over the past two decades, increasing concern over the degradation of tropical forests has fueled the interest of dendrochronologists. Despite the successful inclusion of certain tropical species in dendrochronological studies, the absence of distinct growth rings in many other species calls for the development of new approaches. In this context, recent findings of the presence of cyclic signals in high-resolution time series of stable carbon and oxygen isotopic composition, as well as in the time series of wood anatomical features offer a promising tool to identify growth ring boundaries in species that do not produce distinct anatomical boundaries.

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Related Links:
Anouk's publication list
The Royal Museum for Central Africa
The Xylarium of Tervuren

1 - Royal Museum for Central Africa, Laboratory for Wood Biology and Xylarium, Leuvensesteenweg 13, Tervuren, 3080, Belgium

wood anatomy
tree ring
paleoclimate reconstruction
stable isotope chemistry.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 36-5
Location: 102/Plumas
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 10:45 AM
Abstract ID:302

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