Stable isotopes in tree rings of Pinus heldreichii can indicate climate variability over the eastern Mediterranean region

Category: Time:
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 12:00 to 12:30
Room: URL: Speaker:
Ljubica Lukač
Faculty of Forestry, University in Zagreb
Kiyomi Morino and Ron Towner

A long-term context is important for understanding past climatic variability. Although tree-ring widths (TRWs) are widely used as a proxy for reconstructing past climate, the use of annually-resolved values of δ ¹³C and δ ¹⁸O tree-ring stable isotopes (TRSIs) is increasing and may provide further valuable information. Here, we present a 487-year-long TRW chronology and 240-year-long TRSI chronology for Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii H. Christ) and compare them to each other. We demonstrate that both δ ¹³C and δ ¹⁸O values are better proxies for temperature, precipitation, and drought than TRW. The correlations between these climate parameters and TRSIs are strongest for the combined summer (JJA) period. The results of temporal and spatial field correlation indicate that TRSI chronologies are stable, reliable proxies for JJA precipitation reconstruction over the whole Balkan Peninsula and surrounding eastern Mediterranean region. However, the stability of the temperature signal of the both δ ¹³C and δ ¹⁸O chronologies declines after the 1950s. Our work supports the emerging evidence that TRSI data track climate variability more accurately than a conventional TRW approach and can be subsequently used for the reconstruction of past climate.