Revealing Polylepis microphylla as a suitable tree species for dendrochronology and quantitative wood anatomy in the Andean montane forests

C. Rodríguez-Morata, A. Pacheco-Solana, G. Ticse-Otarola, T. E. Boza Espinoza, D. B. Crispín-DelaCruz, G. M. Santos, M. S. Morales, E. J. Requena-Rojas, L. Andreu-Hayles

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3 Citas (Scopus)


In the tropical Andes climate change is expected to increase temperatures and change precipitation patterns. To overcome the lack of systematic weather records that limits the performance of climate models in this region, the use of the environmental information contained in tree rings from tropical Andean species have been found useful to reconstruct spatio-temporal climate variability. Because classical dendrochronology based on ring-width patterns is often challenging in the tropics, alternative approaches such as Quantitative Wood Anatomy (QWA) based on the measurement and quantification of anatomical traits within tree rings can be a significant advance in the field. Here we assess the dendrochronological potential of Polylepis microphylla and its climate sensitivity by using i) classic dendrochronological methods to generate the first Tree-ring Width (TRW) chronology for this tree species spanning from 1965 to 2018; ii) radiocarbon (¹⁴C) analyses as an independent validation method to assess the annual periodicity of the tree growth layers; and iii) QWA to generate tree-ring annual records of the number (VN) and size (VS) of vessels to investigate the climate sensitivity of these anatomical traits. The annual periodicity in P. microphylla radial growth was confirmed by both dendrochronological and ¹⁴C analyses. We found that VN and VS are promising new proxies to reconstruct climate variability in this region and that they provide different information than TRW. While TRW provides information at inter-annual resolution (i.e., year-to-year variability), VN and VS generated with sectorial QWA provide intra-annual resolution for each stage of the growing process. The TRW and the anatomical traits (i.e., VN and VS) showed strong positive correlation with maximum temperature for different periods of the growing season: while VS is higher with warmer conditions prior to the growing season onset, tree-rings are wider and present higher number of vessels when warmer conditions occur during the current growing season. Our findings pointed out the suitability of P. microphylla for dendrochronological studies and may suggest a good performance of this species under the significant warming expected according to future projections for the tropical Andes.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo125995
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2022


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