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Trees

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 661–670 | Cite as

Radial growth of the Sahara’s oldest trees : Cupressus dupreziana A. Camus

  • F. AbdounEmail author
  • A. J. T. Jull
  • F. Guibal
  • M. Thinon
Original Article

Abstract

The radial growth of Duprez’ cypress (Cupressus dupreziana A. Camus), a tree endemic to the Tassili n’Ajjer in the Central Sahara, was measured from cores taken in 1967 and 1997 from the same trees. A comparison of these cores, spanning 30 years, reveals that even in this hyper-arid climate, this species has a juvenile vigour comparable to other Mediterranean Cupressaceae. Wide individual variability was found, however, which was induced by the strong influence of microhabitat factors. Traditional dendrochronological methods of cross-dating are impossible to apply in the case of these trees. Ages of eight individuals were estimated with the help of radiocarbon dating, yielding an age range from 600 to 2400 years for trees of the most usual girths.

Keywords

Cupressus dupreziana, Radial growth Tree ages Tassili n’Ajjer Sahara 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors express their heartfelt thanks to the following: Sid Ahmed Kerzabi, former Bureau manager of the Tassili National Park, Jean-Louis Borel of the University of Provence, Mohamed Alifriqui of Semlalia University, Marrakech, Brigitte Talon of IMEP (Mediterranean Ecology and Palaeoecology Institute) and Aljos Farjon of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for their advice, Dick Nowell for the translation of the text of this article, Mohamed and Aïcha Touati, Mohamed Beddiaf and Omar Ghanem of the Tassili National Park for their contributions in the field, and our guides and camel-drivers (Mohamed Ag Ahmed, Wawa Iknan, Bilal Machar, Aïssa Taloum, Mamadou Hamid, Warzaghen Machar and Sid Ali Karadji). We also thank the staff of the NSF-Arizona AMS Laboratory. The radiocarbon dating work at the University of Arizona was supported in part by US National Science Foundation grant no. EAR01-15488

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Abdoun
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • A. J. T. Jull
    • 2
  • F. Guibal
    • 3
  • M. Thinon
    • 4
  1. 1.UMR EcoBio 6553Université Rennes-1Rennes CedexFrance
  2. 2.NSF Arizona AMS LaboratoryThe University of Arizona, Physics BuildingSt. TucsonUSA
  3. 3.Institut Méditerranéen d’Ecologie et de PaléoécologieCNRS UMR 6116, Europôle Méditerranéen de l’ArboisAix-en-Provence Cedex 04France
  4. 4.Institut Méditerranéen d’Ecologie et de PaléoécologieCNRS UMR 6116Marseille cedex 20France

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