Dendroclimatology in Taiwan: from the cloud forest to the tree line

Category: Time:
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 12:00 to 13:00
Room: Speaker:
William (Ed) Wright
LTRR, University of Arizona
Russ Monson
Calendar Status:

Are you tired of the same old environmental recipes controlling tree growth in your research area? Consider making a Taiwan! It’s easier than you think! Simply choose an island with tall jagged mountains, and place it in the ocean next to a very large continent. Now turn on a fast seasonally stable jet stream just to the north, and bathe the east coast in a massive fast moving warm ocean current. Oh, and make sure it straddles the boundary between the tropics and subtropics. That way you can drench the island in a steamy monsoon for about 3 months, and then shift the winds by 180˚ and shower it in a frigid monsoon for another 3 months. Top with 3 or 4 typhoons and 6 or 8 earthquakes annually for added variability.The environmental influences on tree growth in Taiwan are extremely complex. Yet despite this potentially confounding variability we can identify stable relationships between Taiwanese tree growth and climate. Ring widths in trees from many Taiwan locales vary significantly with local temperature, and both local temperature and tree growth show strong teleconnections to perturbations in the East Asian Jet Stream and other large scale phenomena. This talk will examine dendroclimatological evidence of past climate as obtained from old growth trees in Taiwan’s cloud forests and at tree line.