Dendrochronological Potential of Trees from America’s Rainiest Region

  • Jorge A. GiraldoEmail author
  • Jorge I. del Valle
  • Carlos A. Sierra
  • Omar Melo


Hydric seasonality, dry or flooding periods, has been the explanation given by dendrochronologists for the formation of growth rings in tropical trees. However, under tropical hyper-humid conditions, there are species with growth periodicity and, therefore, with visible growth rings useful for dendrochronology. We classify, for the first time, the anatomical structures of the growth rings of the tropical trees from the Biogeographic Chocó Region. An annual rainfall >7200 mm without hydric seasonality characterizes the studied forest. We classify the tree rings as present (well or poorly defined) or absent. We also took into account the feasibility of tree-ring dating (dendrochronological potential). We characterized 81 species of trees belonging to 38 families. About 82% of species had growth rings, 46% well defined, and 36% poorly defined, and 18% with absent rings. Dendrochronological potential was high (14%), medium (25%), low (43%), and null (18%). We contrast our results with vast literature around tropics. Our results suggest that still without any hydric seasonality, many tropical tree species develop growth rings. Our findings drive to new questions: What is the periodicity of tree rings in these non-seasonal hyper-humid environments? What other subtle seasonality could be involved in the growth periodicity of these species, or are they genetic?


Tree rings Non-seasonal rainfall Biogeographic Chocó Region Colombia 



This chapter was supported by project 4083 from the National University of Colombia, COLCIENCIAS with Project 1118-714-51372 and Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. We acknowledge “Tropical Dendroecology Laboratory” of the Department of Forest Sciences of the National University of Colombia and MEDEL Herbarium. We thank “Pedro Antonio Pineda Tropical Forestry Center” of the University of Tolima and those people who help us during sampling: Amalia Forero, Faber Hernández, Sixto Cáseres, Andrés Caro, Diego Andrés David, and Jorge Mario Velez. Finally, we would like to thank Thomas A. Gavin, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, for the help with editing this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge A. Giraldo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jorge I. del Valle
    • 2
  • Carlos A. Sierra
    • 3
  • Omar Melo
    • 4
  1. 1.Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede MedellínMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias ForestalesUniversidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede MedellínMedellínColombia
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for BiogeochemistryJenaGermany
  4. 4.Universidad del TolimaIbaguéColombia

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