Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 559–570 | Cite as

Environmental and climatic signals from stable isotopes in Anatolian tree rings, Turkey

  • Halim MutluEmail author
  • Nesibe Köse
  • Ünal Akkemik
  • Duru Aral
  • Ali Kaya
  • Sturt W. Manning
  • Charlotte L. Pearson
  • Nüzhet Dalfes
Original Article


Dendrochronological and oxygen–carbon isotopic analysis was conducted on tree rings collected at two different elevations from three different regions in western Anatolia, Turkey. Tree rings were sampled from Anatolian black pines (Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. pallasiana (Lamb.) Holmboe) of at least 200 years old through an N–S transect covering Bolu-Mengen (north), Kütahya–Simav, and Antalya–Alanya (south) forests. Cellulose was extracted from 5-year blocks of tree rings from lower to upper altitudes in each region. Dendrochronological site chronologies were built for each of the 6 sites, and response to climate was evaluated. The long-term δ13C chronologies comprising the period 1800–2008 strongly decline by an average of 2.5‰ from the mid-twentieth century, which corresponds with the commencement of industrialization in Turkey. Oxygen isotope (δ18O) time series show dominantly low undulations, although some high-frequency variations of up to 6‰ are also observed. As a result of latitude and continent effects, oxygen isotope values of tree rings show an average of 3‰ increase from south (Antalya) to the north (Bolu). Correlations between carbon isotope ratios yield high positive values indicating that industrial pollution exerts a major control on the δ13C systematics of the studied trees. Corrected δ13C ratios are mostly represented by strong positive responses to variations in temperature and precipitation, whereas δ18O and summer temperature/precipitation are negatively correlated. Tree-ring widths and δ18O display similar responses to the temperature and sensitivity to the climatic impact of historic volcanic eruptions, and changes in the solar irradiance record are also detected in other high-resolution paleoclimate archives for the region.


Dendrochronology Tree ring Carbon and oxygen isotopes Climate Turkey 



This study was supported by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (Project No. 107Y262) and by the Research Fund of Istanbul University (Project No. UDP6441). Logistic support from the General Directorate of Forestry is greatly acknowledged. We are grateful for helpful comments and constructive reviews by Wolfgang Cramer and two anonymous reviewers, which improved our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Halim Mutlu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nesibe Köse
    • 2
  • Ünal Akkemik
    • 2
  • Duru Aral
    • 1
  • Ali Kaya
    • 2
  • Sturt W. Manning
    • 3
  • Charlotte L. Pearson
    • 3
  • Nüzhet Dalfes
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringEskişehir Osmangazi UniversityEskişehirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Forest Botany, Faculty of ForestryIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern DendrochronologyCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Eurasia Earth Sciences InstituteIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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