ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2016, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 115–124. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © S.E. Kucherov, D.Yu. Vasil’ev, A.A. Muldashev, 2016, published in Ekologiya, 2016, No. 2, pp. 83–93.
Reconstruction of May–June Precipitation in the Territory
of Bashkiria Based on Scots Pine Tree-Ring Data
from the Bugulma–Belebey Upland
S. E. Kucherov
, D. Yu. Vasil’ev
, and A. A. Muldashev
Botanical Garden–Institute, Ufa Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Mendeleeva 195-3, Ufa, 450080 Russia
Ufa State Aviation Technical University, ul. Karla Marksa 12, Ufa, 450000 Russia
Institute of Biology, Ufa Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Oktyabrya 69, Ufa, 450054 Russia
Received May 19, 2014
Abstract—The relationship between Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tree-ring width and temperature and pre-
cipitation was analyzed in pine forests on the Bugulma–Belebey Upland, Bashkiria. A close correlation
between tree-ring width and the current spring–summer precipitation was revealed. On this basis, a recon-
struction of May–June precipitation in the period from 1860 to 1994 was made.
Keywords: Scots pine, tree-ring width, precipitation, Bugulma–Belebey Upland
Changes in climatic conditions have a strong effect
on the state of natural ecosystems and farmlands.
Atmospheric precipitation is one of the main climate-
forming factors, and its long-term dynamics are often
reconstructed by means of tree-ring chronologies
(Grissino-Mayer, 1996; Touchan et al., 2005; Liu
et al., 2007; Meko et al., 2011). For the Cisural region
considered here, only two dendroclimatic studies have
been performed. Kucherov (1996) revealed a fairly
strong correlation between Scots pine tree-ring width
and May–June precipitation in the forest zone on the
Ufa Plateau and in the Mesyagutovskaya forest–
steppe. Kucherov and Muldashev (2011) found that
the pattern of correlation of Scots pine tree-ring width
with precipitation and temperature in the pine forests
of the Kama–Belaya Lowland varies in time and
space, which is explained by time-dependent changes
in the structure of tree stands.
This study presents the results of a dendroclimatic
analysis of variation in Scots pine tree-ring width at
three sites on the Bugulma–Belebey Upland (Fig. 1)
that were used to reconstruct the dynamics of May–
June precipitation in the period from 1860 to 1994.
STUDY REGION AND OBJECTS
Studies were performed in the southeastern part of
the Bugulma–Belebey Upland. Its topography is
characterized by a strong erosional dissection up to a
depth of 10–150 m. Prevalent soil types are leached,
calcareous, and typical chernozems and dark gray for-
est soils underlain by clays, sandstones, limestones,
dolomites, and marls of the Permian series. The cli-
mate is continental, with moderate moisture
(Kadil’nikov et al., 1964). According to botanical-
geographic zoning, the study region is located in the
forest–steppe zone of the southeastern Belebey
Upland (Opredelitel’…, 1988). Pine and pine–broad-
leaf (oak–pine and linen–pine) forests of this zone
belong to the botanical–geographic group of sub-
taiga forests and grow under conditions of close con-
tact and interaction with prevalent broadleaf forests.
They are usually confined to riverside slopes of
southerly aspects, where conditions are drier and
allow them to compete with broadleaf tree species
(Muldashev, 1998; Muldashev and Kucherov, 2009).
Most of these relict forests are awaiting protection
status or are already included in the list of specially
protected natural areas (Lind, 1929; Fedorako, 1961;
Kucherov et al., 1974; Muldashev and Kucherov,
2009; Reestr…, 2010).
Samples of Scots pine wood for dendrochronolog-
ical analysis were taken in 1995 at the following sites of
specially protected natural areas (Fig. 1):
Site KM. The mountainous left bank of the
Ik River, west-facing slope (10
forests with the herbaceous layer dominated by Carex
rhizina Blytt ex Lindbl., Brachipodium pinnatum (L.)
Beauv., and Calamagrostis arundinacea (L.) Roth.
Scots pine trees grow sparsely or in small groups,
crown closure 0.4–0.5.