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International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 703–714 | Cite as

A 323-year long reconstruction of drought for SW Romania based on black pine (Pinus Nigra) tree-ring widths

  • Tom Levanič
  • Ionel Popa
  • Simon Poljanšek
  • Constantin Nechita
Original Paper

Abstract

Increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation pose a major future challenge for sustainable ecosystem management in Romania. To understand ecosystem response and the wider social consequences of environmental change, we constructed a 396-year long (1615–2010) drought sensitive tree-ring width chronology (TRW) of Pinus nigra var. banatica (Georg. et Ion.) growing on steep slopes and shallow organic soil. We established a statistical relationship between TRW and two meteorological parameters—monthly sum of precipitation (PP) and standardised precipitation index (SPI). PP and SPI correlate significantly with TRW (r = 0.54 and 0.58) and are stable in time. Rigorous statistical tests, which measure the accuracy and prediction ability of the model, were all significant. SPI was eventually reconstructed back to 1688, with extreme dry and wet years identified using the percentile method. By means of reconstruction, we identified two so far unknown extremely dry years in Romania—1725 and 1782. Those 2 years are almost as dry as 1946, which was known as the “year of great famine.” Since no historical documents for these 2 years were available in local archives, we compared the results with those from neighbouring countries and discovered that both years were extremely dry in the wider region (Slovakia, Hungary, Anatolia, Syria, and Turkey). While the 1800–1900 period was relatively mild, with only two moderately extreme years as far as weather is concerned, the 1900–2009 period was highly salient owing to the very high number of wet and dry extremes—five extremely wet and three extremely dry events (one of them in 1946) were identified.

Keywords

Dendroclimatology Standardised precipitation index Summer drought reconstruction Domogled National Park Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the research project PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0040 in Romania, the program and research group “Forest Biology, Ecology and Technology” P4-0107 of the Slovenian Forestry Institute, a research grant by the Slovenian Research Agency (S. Poljanšek) and bilateral cooperation between Slovenia and Romania funded by the Slovenian Research Agency and National Authority for Scientific Research of Romania (ANCS). Fieldwork was carried out in Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park, and we are most grateful to its authorities for allowing us to implement tree sampling in it, as well as providing us with guides in the Park. We are grateful to Martin Cregeen for improving the English language.

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Copyright information

© ISB 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Levanič
    • 1
  • Ionel Popa
    • 2
  • Simon Poljanšek
    • 1
  • Constantin Nechita
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Slovenian Forestry InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Forest Research and Management InstituteCampulung MoldovenescRomania
  3. 3.Faculty of Forestry“Ştefan cel Mare” University of SuceavaSuceavaRomania

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