, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 261–273 | Cite as

Diverse climate sensitivity of Mediterranean tree-ring width and density

  • Ulf Büntgen
  • David Frank
  • Valerie Trouet
  • Jan Esper
Original Paper


Understanding long-term environmental controls on the formation of tree-ring width (TRW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) is fundamental for evaluating parameter-specific growth characteristics and climate reconstruction skills. This is of particular interest for mid-latitudinal environments where future rates of climate change are expected to be most rapid. Here we present a network of 28 TRW and 21 MXD chronologies from living and relict conifers. Data cover an area from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east and an altitudinal gradient from 1,000 to 2,500 m asl. Age trends, spatial autocorrelation functions, carry-over effects, variance changes, and climate responses were analyzed for the individual sites and two parameter-specific regional means. Variations in warm season (May–September) temperature mainly control MXD formation (r = 0.58 to 0.87 from inter-annual to decadal time-scales), whereas lower TRW sensitivity to temperature remains unstable over space and time.


Conifers Dendroclimatology Growth responses Climate reconstructions Summer temperature 



R. Wilson, A. Verstege, and F. Anders assisted fieldwork. F. Schweingruber and other ITRDB contributors provided tree-ring data. The NP d’Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici (namely J. V. Canillas) kindly provided sampling permission. Spatial field correlations were generated using the KNMI Climate Explorer ( Supported by the SNF project NCCR-Climate (Extract) and the EU project MILLENNIUM (#017008).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Büntgen
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Frank
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valerie Trouet
    • 1
  • Jan Esper
    • 3
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of GeographyJohannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany

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