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Impact of solar activity on the growth of pine trees: case study


In this work, we focus on the analysis of data for the ring width of two pine tree species: samples of six maritime pines (Pinus pinaster), grown in the north of Portugal, and one sample of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), grown in the south of Slovakia. A negative impact of solar activity (SA) was observed on the growth of these pine trees with particularly strong impact in the case of the maritime pines. The width of the annual rings was generally smaller in the years of maximum SA; furthermore, it was found that it is latewood width that is affected whereas earlywood width is not affected; as a corollary, the percentage of latewood also shows a significative negative correlation with SA.

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This work was supported by grant number SFRH/BPD/44018/2008 from the Fundacão para a Ciência e Tecnologia, MCTES, Lisbon, Portugal (I.D.). The authors are grateful to the SIDC Team for providing the sunspot numbers. The authors would also like to acknowledge the technical assistance of V. Čalfa and Š. Mačanský (SCO Hurbanovo) in obtaining the samples from Pinus sylvestris. Wavelet and wavelet coherence were calculated with a modified computing algorithm of wavelet transform, the original of which was developed and provided by A. Grinsted and is available at URL:

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Correspondence to Ivan Dorotovič.

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Communicated by Aaron R Weiskittel.

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Dorotovič, I., Louzada, J.L., Rodrigues, J.C. et al. Impact of solar activity on the growth of pine trees: case study. Eur J Forest Res 133, 639–648 (2014).

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  • Dendrochronology
  • Growth rings
  • Wood density