The dating of dipterocarp tree rings: establishing a record of carbon cycling and climatic change in the tropics

Robertson, I.; Froyd, C. A.; Walsh, R. P. D.; Newbery, David McClintock; Woodborne, S.; Ong, R. C. (2004). The dating of dipterocarp tree rings: establishing a record of carbon cycling and climatic change in the tropics. Journal of quaternary science JQS, 19(7), pp. 657-664. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/jqs.885

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In a first step to obtain a proxy record of past climatic events (including the El Ni (n) over tildeo-Southern Oscillation) in the normally aseasonal tropical environment of Sabah, a radial segment from a recently fallen dipterocarp (Shorea Superba) was radiocarbon dated and subjected to carbon isotope analysis. The high-precision radiocarbon results fell into the ambiguous modern plateau where several calibrated dates can exist for each sample. Dating was achieved by wiggle matching using a Bayesian approach to calibration. Using the defined growth characteristics of Shorea superba, probability density distributions were calculated and improbable dates rejected. It was found that the tree most likely started growing around AD 1660-1685. A total of 173 apparent growth increments were measured and, therefore, it could be determined that the tree formed one ring approximately every two years. Stable carbon isotope values were obtained from resin-extracted wholewood from each ring. Carbon cycling is evident in the `juvenile effect', resulting from the assimilation of respired carbon dioxide and lower light levels below the canopy, and in the `anthropogenic effect' caused by increased industrial activity in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This study demonstrates that palaeoenvironmental information can be obtained from trees growing in aseasonal environments, where climatic conditions prevent the formation of well-defined annual rings.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Vegetation Ecology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Newbery, David McClintock

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0267-8179

Publisher:

John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Aug 2014 12:06

Last Modified:

14 Dec 2014 11:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/jqs.885

Additional Information:

Symposium on Late Quaternary Ecosystem Dynamics and Carbon Cycling in the Tropics held at the 16th INQUA Congress, Reno, NV, JUL 23-30, 2003

Uncontrolled Keywords:

dipterocarp, canopy, tropical, radiocarbon dating, wiggle matching

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.53825

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/53825

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