Detection and removal of disturbance trends in tree-ring series for dendroclimatology
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Nonclimatic disturbance events are an integral element in the history of forests. Although the identification of the occurrence and duration of such events may help to understand environmental history and landscape change, from a dendroclimatic perspective, disturbance can obscure the climate signal in tree rings. However, existing detrending methods are unable to remove disturbance trends without affecting the retention of long-term climate trends. Here, we address this issue by using a novel method for the detection and removal of disturbance events in tree-ring width data to assess their spatiotemporal occurrence in a network of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees from Scotland. Disturbance trends “superimposed” on the tree-ring record are removed before detrending and the climate signals in the precorrection and postcorrection chronologies are evaluated using regional climate data, proxy system model simulations, and maximum latewood density (MXD) data. Analysis of subregional chronologies from the West Highlands and the Cairngorms in the east reveals a higher intensity and more systematic disturbance history in the western subregion, likely a result of extensive timber exploitation. The method improves the climate signal in the two subregional chronologies, particularly in the more disturbed western sites. Our application of this method demonstrates that it is possible to minimise the effects of disturbance in tree-ring width chronologies to enhance the climate signal.
Rydval , M , Druckenbrod , D , Anchukaitis , K J & Wilson , R 2016 , ' Detection and removal of disturbance trends in tree-ring series for dendroclimatology ' Canadian Journal of Forest Research , vol 46 , no. 3 , pp. 387-401 . DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0366
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Copyright 2015, the Authors. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2015-0366
The authors thank The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for providing funding for Miloš Rydval’s Ph.D. The Scottish pine network expansion has been an ongoing task since 2006, and funding must be acknowledged to the following projects: EU project “Millennium” (017008-2), Leverhulme Trust project “RELiC: Reconstructing 8000 years of Environmental and Landscape change in the Cairngorms (F/00 268/BG)”, and the NERC project “SCOT2K: Reconstructing 2000 years of Scottish climate from tree rings (NE/K003097/1)”. Kevin J. Anchukaitis was also supported by a grant for the US National Science Foundation (ARC-0902051).
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