Crop Yield Responses to Temperature Fluctuations in 19th Century Finland: Provincial Variation in Relation to Climate and Tree Rings

Huhtamaa, Heli Maaria; Helama, Samuli; Holopainen, Jari; Rethorn, Carolin; Rohr, Christian (2015). Crop Yield Responses to Temperature Fluctuations in 19th Century Finland: Provincial Variation in Relation to Climate and Tree Rings. Boreal Environment Research, 20, pp. 707-723. Boreal Environment Research Publishing Board

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Past agricultural responses to climate variability can helps us to better understand the current and future impacts of climate change on agricultural production. We studied rye (Secale cereale) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) yield responses to temperature fluctuations in Finland during the period 1861–1913. Our analyses demonstrate the high sensitivity of non-industrialised northern agriculture to temperature anomalies. We found evidence of a strong relationship between monthly and seasonal mean temperatures and crop yields. In particular, high spring temperatures were associated with higher yields. Additionally, we tested temperature-sensitive tree-ring series for their value in indicating previous agricultural outputs. The results imply that tree-ring proxies (in particular, maximum latewood density) can provide novel material for studies of historical periods and locations where instrumentally measured climate and harvest data are not available.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Huhtamaa, Heli Maaria and Rohr, Christian

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 940 History of Europe

ISSN:

1797-2469

Publisher:

Boreal Environment Research Publishing Board

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Rohr

Date Deposited:

27 Jul 2015 15:00

Last Modified:

30 Nov 2015 10:55

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Crop harvest; Finland; 19th Century; Dendrochronology; Social Impact

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.70535

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70535

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