Principles of dendrochronology and applications with some examples from Estonia

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1 16 Feb Niguliste Church Principles of dendrochronology and applications with some examples from Estonia Alar Läänelaid Dept. of Geography, University of Tartu

2 Main fields of application Age determination of big trees Dating of painting panels & other art objects Dendrochronology s.l. Age determination of buildings Forestry investigations Climate investigations Ecological & geomorphological investigations

3 A. E. Douglass ( ) a founder of dendrochronology An American astronomer, studied the possible influence of sunspots to tree rings, detected relationship of ring width and climate, invented crossdating principle, dated pines 1937 founded the Tree Ring Research Laboratory in the University of Arizona Courtesy of Charles W. Hubert, Western Ways Photo, Tucson

4 A guide from U.S. Stokes & Smiley, University of Chicago Press, 73 p second edition What do the tree rings reveal and how they are investigated in America

5 Schweingruber, p. A picture book of tree-ring research starting from sampling to applications in art history and ecology English version 1988

6 A supporter of Baltic tree-ring research Prof. Dr. Dieter Eckstein (b. 1939), Wood Biology Center, Hamburg A founder of dendrochronology in Japan and Thailand Initiated international conferences EuroDendro

7 Cook & Kairiukstis (Eds), 1990 Kluwer Academic Publishers, 394 p. A systematic overview of methods Lot of math

8 American tree-ring journal Tree-Ring Bulletin since 1934, Tucson, Arizona 2001 renamed Tree-Ring Research 2 per year Rank: 31/54 Forestry Impact factor 0.731

9 European dendrochronology journal I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y, 4 per year Since 1983 Verona, Italy Reviewed in 14 databases, Impact factor 1.697

10 Baltic forestry journal Since 1995, 2 per year, Contains tree-ring investigations Peer reviewed. Impact factor 0.532

11 A comprehensive web page web.utk.edu/~grissino/

12 Annual rings? Annual rings (year rings, tree rings) occur only in conifers and trees & shrubs from Angiosperms growing in seasonal climate

13 Woody plants in dendrochronology Zone Gymnosperms Angiosperms or Flowering plants Conifers Dicots Deciduous trees-shrubs Monocots Cold & alpine juniper, spruce willows, heather family - Temperate Hot spruce, pine, larch Agathis, Araucaria oak, beech - teak tree -

14 Annual growth layers in conifers Each year a wood layer grows on earlier layers From the cross section shape these layers are called tree rings The latest tree ring is located under the bark, the earliest in the center Xylem = wood Phloem = inner part of bark and deciduous trees Fritts 1976

15 A tree trunk inside Cross section, Radial section, Tangential section Schweingruber 1990

16 A (locally) missing tree ring Occurs at certain radius and height Can be discovered in comparison with other cross sections Stokes, Smiley, 1968

17 Cross section of a conifer Bark (bast & hard bark) Cambium False ring Ring width: latewood earlywood Pith

18 Heartwood and sapwood Sapwood Heartwood Not all tree species have distinguishable heartwood Heartwood can occur both in softwoods (conifers) and hardwoods (deciduous trees) Sapwood makes sense in dating

19 Why it is necessary to determine tree species? Because of different ecology the pattern of tree rings of species varies Tree species react differently to climate A tree-ring series is better datable by the chronology of the same species Knowing the species helps to assess the reliability of the dendro-date

20 Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L. in Europe Estonia - middle part of its natural distribution, optimal growth conditions Wide ecological amplitude: grows in various sites Heart- and sapwood Important construction wood

21 Norway spruce Picea abies (L.) Karst. in Europe Middle part of its distribution area Prefers fertile soils Shallow-rooted storm-sensitive No heartwood Together with pine the main construction wood in northern Europe

22 European silver fir Abies alba Mill. Naturally in the mountains, no resin canals, white heartwood, frequent building material

23 Oaks Quercus spp. in Europe Q. robur pedunculate or English oak Q. petraea durmast or sessile oak Hybridization, wood undistinguishable, ringporous Can grow 1000 years Main construction timber in western Europe

24 European beech Fagus sylvatica L. Does not grow naturally in Estonia Wood for furniture, painting panels etc. Without heartwood, diffuse-porous to semiring-porous

25 Norway spruce, cuts Čufar, Zupančič 1999

26 Oak: ring-porous tree Tree-ring width Čufar & Levanič, 1999

27 European beech: a diffuse-porous tree Čufar, Levanič 1999

28 A false tree ring Latewood-like zone in conifer cross section

29 False tree rings in Mexican cypres Cupressus lusitanica Peter Brown

30 Locally missing ring in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) J. Pilcher

31 Light & dark rings Occur in conifers in cool and moist climate: latewood unusually light (thin-walled cells) Light rings refer to cool summer Dark rings refer to warm summer Schweingruber 1996

32 Reaction wood Forms as reaction to tilting of the stem Compression wood in conifers (Gymnosperms) Tension wood in hardwoods (Angiosperms) Conifer or hardwood?

33 Complacent and sensitive trees Wide rings, low variability, no matter Fluctuating ring width, reflects changes in factors Dendrochronologists prefer sensitive trees Fritts 1976

34 Sensitive growth in younger age, complacent growth in older age Spruce, no heartwood, no waney edge, no pith, 92 tree rings

35 Crossdating of tree-ring sequences, a basic principle Schweingruber & Schoch, 1992

36 Cross-dating of pine series construction timber & growing trees, Estonia Overlapping averaged ring-width series from a number of buildings, excavated wood and growing trees

37 Estonian pine series temporal span

38 Estonian pine chronology raw measurements, with sample depth

39 Estonian pine chronology Standardised Raw measurements

40 Estonian tree-ring chronologies for dendrochronological dating English oak Norway spruce Scots pine

41 Pine chronologies coherence How far is similar? Bartholin 1987 Bartholin

42 Coherence of Baltic pine chronologies Läänelaid et al. 2012

43 Estonian versus Gotland pine chronology (Th. Bartholin)

44 Some dendrochronologically dated objects

45 Thank you for patience!

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