Multi-proxy Study of a Tree Ring Chronology from Engadine


Type : Post-doctoral research (2005-2006)

Fund : Swiss National Foundation, MHV grant


Description : 

Growing concern over potentially abrupt future climate changes has fueled recent interest in the mechanisms of climatically induced ecological changes. Climate variability can affect ecosystems structure and composition. Assessing the impact of 20th century warming requires a long-term perspective.

The interannual pattern of the tree-ring sequence can be used to reconstruct annually resolved histories of summer-climate variability for long periods for which the instrumental observations are not available.

The combined study of ring growth parameters and stable isotope ratios (oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) should allow the exploitation of tree-rings not only as palaeothermometers, but as monitors of synoptic climatology.

In this study a 200-year chronology from living spruce trees from Engadine is studied to assess the stability of the climate signal in tree rings in space and time.


Keywords : 

Tree rings, stable isotopes, Picea abies, Engadine, paleoclimate, treeline


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Study site : 

Engadine, Albula Pass (Switzerland)