Journal article

Wood density provides new opportunities for reconstructing past temperature variability from southeastern Australian trees

Alison J O'Donnell, Kathryn J Allen, Robert M Evans, Edward R Cook, Valerie Trouet, Patrick J Baker



Tree-ring based climate reconstructions have been critical for understanding past variability and recent trends in climate worldwide, but they are scarce in Australia. This is particularly the case for temperature: only one tree-ring width based temperature reconstruction - based on Huon Pine trees from Mt Read, Tasmania - exists for Australia. Here, we investigate whether additional tree-ring parameters derived from Athrotaxis cupressoides trees growing in the same region have potential to provide robust proxy records of past temperature variability.We measured wood properties, including tree-ring width (TRW), mean density, mean cell wall thickness (CWT), and tracheid radial diameter (TRD) ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP120104320 to PJB). We are grateful to Michael Goddard for assistance in preparing core samples for analysis, Scott Nicholls for assistance in preparing and analysing samples, and the participants of the Dendroclimatology Masterclass as part of WorldDendro2014: Anders Brundin, Binod Dawadi, Nathan English, Maarit Kalela-Brundin, Robert Kennedy, Kathelyn Paredes, and Meritxell Ramirez-Olle. We are also grateful to Wasyl Drosdowsky for providing the STR intensity index data and Martin Visbeck for providing the monthly instrument-based reconstruction of the SAM. Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory Contribution No. 7991.