Investigating Masking Effects of Age Trends on the Correlations among Tree Ring Proxies

Arosio, Tito; Ziehmer-Wenz, Malin Michelle; Nicolussi, Kurt; Schlüchter, Christian; Leuenberger, Markus Christian (2021). Investigating Masking Effects of Age Trends on the Correlations among Tree Ring Proxies. Forests, 12(11), p. 1523. MDPI 10.3390/f12111523

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Age-related trends are present in tree-ring widths (TRW), but their presence in tree rings isotope is debated. It is unclear how cambial age influences the relationships between TRW and isotopes. Tree-ring isotopes of alpine larch and cembran-pine trees showed only trends in the juvenile period (>100 years), which might mask the inter-relations between tree-ring proxies during cambial age. This work tries to unmask the age-trend influences by examining the correlations in TRW—stable isotopes with and without age-trend correction. The non-detrended and linear-detrended values of TRW, of δD and δ18O showed significant correlations for ages up to 100 years, but not afterward. However, the correlation values, after spline or first-difference time-series detrending, were not age-related. Thus, detrending methods affect the correlations in the juvenile phase and may affect climate-related interpretations. The correlations between TRW and δ13C were not age-related, while those among the isotopes were significant throughout the ages. The correlation between δ13C and δD was the exception, as it became significant only after age > 100 years, suggesting a different use of reserves in the juvenile phase. In conclusion, the relationships among the tree-ring parameters are stable in all the different detrend scenarios after the juvenile phase, and they can be used together in multi-proxy paleoclimatic studies. The data of the juvenile phase can be used after spline-detrending or first-difference time-series calculation, depending on the purpose of the analysis to remove age-related trends. The work also provides clues on the possible causes of juvenile age trends.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Arosio, Tito, Schlüchter, Christian, Leuenberger, Markus


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] Austrian Science Fund




Tito Arosio

Date Deposited:

28 Dec 2021 13:42

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:





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