Climate sensitivity of Mediterranean pine growth reveals distinct east-west dipole

Seim, Andrea; Treydte, Kerstin; Trouet, Valerie; Frank, David; Fonti, Patrick; Tegel, Willy; Panayotov, Momchil; Fernández-Donado, Laura; Krusic, Paul; Büntgen, Ulf (2015). Climate sensitivity of Mediterranean pine growth reveals distinct east-west dipole. International journal of climatology, 35(9), pp. 2503-2513. Wiley 10.1002/joc.4137

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The European Mediterranean region is governed by a characteristic climate of summer drought that is likely to increase in duration and intensity under predicted climate change. However, large-scale network analyses investigating spatial aspects of pre-instrumental drought variability for this biogeographic zone are still scarce. In this study we introduce 54 mid- to high-elevation tree-ring width (TRW) chronologies comprising 2186 individual series from pine trees (Pinus spp.). This compilation spans a 4000-km east–west transect from Spain to Turkey, and was subjected to quality control and standardization prior to the development of site chronologies. A principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify spatial growth patterns during the network's common period 1862–1976, and new composite TRW chronologies were developed and investigated. The PCA reveals a common variance of 19.7% over the 54 Mediterranean pine chronologies. More interestingly, a dipole pattern in growth variability is found between the western (15% explained variance) and eastern (9.6%) sites, persisting back to 1330 AD. Pine growth on the Iberian Peninsula and Italy favours warm early growing seasons, but summer drought is most critical for ring width formation in the eastern Mediterranean region. Synoptic climate dynamics that have been in operation for the last seven centuries have been identified as the driving mechanism of a distinct east–west dipole in the growth variability of Mediterranean pines.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Science

UniBE Contributor:

Frank, David and Büntgen, Ulf


900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2015 16:07

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2015 09:55

Publisher DOI:





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