Intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) in tree rings of Aleppo pine ( Pinus halepensis ) are considered to be among the most promising wood anatomical features in dendrochronological studies. They provide environmental information in addition to those obtained from tree-ring widths. We used a network of 35 sites in Spain, ranging from nearly desert to temperate climate. We analysed tree-ring series of 529 trees to study IADF frequencies, and their dependence on climatic factors and cambial age. The results showed that IADF frequency is age dependent, with its maximum at the cambial age of 27 years (evaluated at breast height). The frequencies varied across the network and at different sites we recorded that 0.3% to 33% of the analysed tree rings contained IADFs. They were more frequent where and when the temperatures were higher, summer drought was intense and autumn was the main precipitation season. IADF formation was particularly related to high minimum temperatures and wet conditions in late summer and autumn. These results suggest that IADF formation is not related to stressful conditions during summer but to favourable conditions during autumn. These conditions promote cambial reactivation and consequently formation of wider tree rings.
IAWA Journal – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
Keywords: Aleppo pine; wood structure; tree rings; Mediterranean
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