Floresta e Ambiente
http://floram.org/article/doi/10.1590/2179-8087.014215
Floresta e Ambiente
Original Article Forest Products

Impact of Site Conditions Changes on the Tree Ring Records Suitability as Climate Proxies in the Brazilian Amazon

Impact of Site Conditions Changes on the Tree Ring Records Suitability as Climate Proxies in the Brazilian Amazon

Dünisch, Oliver; Latorraca, João Vicente de Figueiredo

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Resumo

The increment zones width in the xylem of Swietenia macrophylla King was investigated by dendrochronological methods in an undisturbed and a strongly disturbed tropical site near Aripuanã, Mato Grosso, Brazil (10°09’ S, 59°26’W). The study aimed to assess the impact of forest disturbance on the relationship between precipitation and the cambial growth of this species. Tree-ring width chronologies were developed for both sites from cross-dated increment curves. Simple correlations were computed between monthly precipitation records and the annual increment of Swietenia for the period between 1870 and 2000. Logging activities and altered land use caused a significant decrease of the water supply of the Swietenia trees grown in the disturbed area compared to trees grown in the undisturbed area. Consequently, the precipitation of almost the total growing season had a significant influence on the tree ring width of Swietenia grown in the disturbed area, while in the undisturbed forest area the significant correlation between monthly precipitation and the tree ring width of Swietenia was restricted to the beginning of the growing season (November to January). However, the reconstruction of monthly precipitation data from the tree ring width records was more precise using the chronology developed from tree ring width records of undisturbed trees compared to the chronology developed from tree ring widths from the disturbed area. It was concluded that the use of the tree ring widths of Swietenia as climate proxies is restricted to certain months of the year and requires tree ring width chronologies developed from trees grown in undisturbed or only slightly disturbed forest areas without severe anthropogenic changes in microclimate.

Palavras-chave

climate change, tropics, dendroclimatology, forest disturbance, microclimate, Swietenia macrophylla

Abstract

The increment zones width in the xylem of Swietenia macrophylla King was investigated by dendrochronological methods in an undisturbed and a strongly disturbed tropical site near Aripuanã, Mato Grosso, Brazil (10°09’ S, 59°26’W). The study aimed to assess the impact of forest disturbance on the relationship between precipitation and the cambial growth of this species. Tree-ring width chronologies were developed for both sites from cross-dated increment curves. Simple correlations were computed between monthly precipitation records and the annual increment of Swietenia for the period between 1870 and 2000. Logging activities and altered land use caused a significant decrease of the water supply of the Swietenia trees grown in the disturbed area compared to trees grown in the undisturbed area. Consequently, the precipitation of almost the total growing season had a significant influence on the tree ring width of Swietenia grown in the disturbed area, while in the undisturbed forest area the significant correlation between monthly precipitation and the tree ring width of Swietenia was restricted to the beginning of the growing season (November to January). However, the reconstruction of monthly precipitation data from the tree ring width records was more precise using the chronology developed from tree ring width records of undisturbed trees compared to the chronology developed from tree ring widths from the disturbed area. It was concluded that the use of the tree ring widths of Swietenia as climate proxies is restricted to certain months of the year and requires tree ring width chronologies developed from trees grown in undisturbed or only slightly disturbed forest areas without severe anthropogenic changes in microclimate.

Keywords

climate change, tropics, dendroclimatology, forest disturbance, microclimate, Swietenia macrophylla
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