Climatic signals in tree-ring widths and wood structure of Pinus halepensis in contrasted environmental conditions
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Tree-ring widths (RW), earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) widths, the transition from early to latewood (T) and the occurrence of intra-annual density fluctuations in EW (E-ring) and in LW (L-ring), as well as the presence of resin canals in EW and LW, were analyzed in Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) from three sites in Spain and one in Slovenia to find out if the anatomical characteristics can provide additional seasonal climate–growth information from contrasted environmental conditions. Principal component analysis was applied to elucidate the relationship between the measured parameters and climate. Principal component factor PC1 proved to be related to parameters of EW and the climatic variables of winter-spring; PC2 to parameters of LW and climatic variables of summer–autumn; PC3 to conditions during transitions from humid to dry periods. The three PCs vary between sites and are determined by the climatic conditions during their formation. The study demonstrates that wood anatomical features may provide complementary information to that contained in tree-ring widths. Since such results are obtained on contrasting sites, it is likely that it may be generalized over the wide range of P. halepensis distribution representing a useful proxy for studies on a regional scale.
KeywordsPinus halepensis Mediterranean Tree rings Intra-annual density fluctuations Anatomical characteristics
This study was supported by Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, co-funded by FEDER Program (Project: CGL2008-05112-C02-01), and Slovenian Research Agency (Program P4-0015). We thank two anonymous referees for their comments as well as Elaine Rowe and Martin Cregeen for improving the English of this manuscript.
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