Tree-Ring Talk

A new perspective on drought history in the Four Corners: cool- and monsoon-season precipitation reconstructions for the Hopi and Navajo tribal lands

For well over a decade, the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation located in northeastern Arizona have suffered the effects of persistent drought conditions. Severe dry spells have critically impacted natural ecosystems, water resources, and regional livelihoods including dryland farming and ranching. Drought planning and resource management efforts in the region are based largely on the instrumental record of climate, which contains a limited number of severe, sustained droughts.

Earlywood and latewood: new insight on the tree growth-climate response in the U.S. Southwest with emphasis on the summer monsoon.

Earlywood and latewood tree-ring chronologies offer promise for reconstructing season- specific, and in some cases, dual-season climate variability. This was our motivation for developing a new network of 50 intra-annual chronologies for the southwestern U.S., where annual precipitation is split between the westerly influenced winter and summer monsoon climate regimes.

Fire History of Montane Grasslands and Ecotones of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

Montane grasslands are distributed across the Southwest, but there has been little quantitative study despite their biological and economic value. The study area is the montane forest-grassland ecotone within the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico, situated in the heart of the Jemez Mountains. We hypothesize that the fire history record of the ecotone should closely reflect the fire regimes in the montane grasslands throughout the study area and that this zone served as a pathway to encourage the spread of fire to other valles.

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