Course detail

LCF5870 - Dendrochronology: Principles and Applications of Tree Ring Analysis

Credit hours

In-class work
per week
per week
4 weeks
120 hours

Fidel Alejandro Roig
Mario Tommasiello Filho

The objectives of the Dendrochronology discipline are to apply the analysis of the growth rings of trees of species of angiospems and gymnosperms, from natural populations and forest plantations, in urban environments or in forest massifs, aiming to: A. Rescue their historical development , with special reference to South America; Detail the principles that characterize it as a science; B. Describe the process of seasonality of cambial activity and the formation of growth rings in tree trunks, as well as the anatomical structure of wood and growth rings; C. Study the process of formation of reaction wood in tree trunks and the implications for the analysis of growth rings; D. Define the selection of sites, species and trees for dendrochronology studies; Establish non-destructive and destructive sampling methodologies for tree trunk wood, including equipment, accessories, etc. in climate reconstruction, air pollution, ecology, forestry production, etc.; E. Methodologies for characterizing and measuring the width of annual growth rings and wood density; F. Application of X-ray densitometry and image analysis in the characterization of growth rings: width and density of early and late wood; G. Techniques for cross-dating growth rings and recognizing false and missing growth rings and application of computer programs in current use, with special focus on the COFECHA program; H. Statistical fundamentals of growth ring chronologies: deviation and standard error, autocorrelation, average sensitivity. Series filtration techniques; I. Dendroclimatology: processing of climate data and climate reconstruction; J. Dendroecology: abrupt changes in tree growth: dating of forest fires, incidence of floods, assessment of insect attacks, dating of geomorphological events, earthquakes, forest dynamics, etc.; K. Dendrochronology and forest production: mineral fertilization, classification of forest sites, effect of spacing, thinning and pruning; L. Dendroarchaeology: dating of historical wooden pieces, fossils and sub-fossils; M. Development of long chronologies and radiocarbon calibration curves; N. Application of isotopes in the analysis of growth rings and their use in paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Unit 1- Introduction to the discipline. Chemical, biological and geological elements as detectors of environmental changes (ice, marine sediments, corals, pollen, carbonates, growth rings). Temporal resolution. Dendrochronology, basic definitions. Historic. Historical development of dendrochronology, with special reference to South America. Unit 2- Rhythmic growth increments in nature. Seasonality of growth in past geological eras. Principle of uniformity in the natural order. The principle of limiting factors. The concept of ecological amplitude. Unit 3- Vascular exchange: generalities. Cell division. Production of xylem and phloem. Growth regulators. Seasonal foreign exchange activity. Structural organization of the tree. Secondary stem: anatomical structure, arrangement of tissues and their characterization. Secondary xylem. Structure of angioperm wood. Wooden structure of gymnosperms. Growth rings: earlywood, latewood. Sapwood and heartwood. Reaction wood. Unit 4- Selection of areas, locations, species and individuals for dendrochronology studies. Sampling trees, shrubs and prostrate plants. Types of instruments for sampling tree wood, use and maintenance. Morphological criteria for identifying centuries-old trees. Sampling strategies in climate reconstruction studies, air pollution, dendroecology, forest production, etc. Dendrochronology in areas with temperate and tropical climates. Unit 5- The tree as an integrator. Annual growth ring width and wood density. Dating growth rings. Radiodensitometry: advantages and limitations. Techniques for preparing wood samples. Radiation and development of X-ray films. Measurement of wood density. Microdensitometer and image analyzer applied to evaluate the width of growth rings. Visual and statistical cross-dating. Morphological and statistical recognition of false and absent growth rings. Computer programs in current use, with a special focus on the COFECHA program. File formats and International growth ring database. Unit 6- Analysis of growth ring data. Basic principles. Linear aggregate model of growth rings. Biological tendency and growth fluctuations due to climate, ecological variables, etc. Normalization and estimation of the growth trend. Estimation of the average chronology. Using models to estimate the common signal of tree growth. Differential standardization in the preservation of high and low frequency waves. Statistics of growth ring chronologies: deviation and standard error, autocorrelation, average sensitivity. Series filtration techniques. Unit 7- Growth rings and climate. Climate data processing. Model of factors that influence foreign exchange activity. Multivariate analysis techniques: multiple regression and correlation after removing principal components. Response function: concept and interpretation. Climate Reconstruction and verification. Reconstructions of spatial variations in climate. Climatic, hydrological and atmospheric pressure reconstructions in South America. Unit 8- Dendroecology. Characteristic growth rings and abrupt changes in tree growth: meaning and quantification of events. Forest fire dating. Fire scars, changes in growth rate and increased proportion of nitrogen in growth rings. Incidence of floods on tree growth and assessment of insect attack. Dating geomorphological events, glacial activity, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Forest dynamics studies inferred by growth rings. Alteration of wood tissues by freezing. Relationship between the characterization and distribution of reaction wood in tree wood with the direction and intensity of the winds. Unit 9- Recurrence of events. Detection using statistical techniques. Spectral methods: Blackman-Tukey spectrum. Maximum maximum entropy spectrum. Spectral co-analysis. Analysis with simple techniques: characteristic year. Advantages, limitations and comparison of methods. Spatial significance of tree growth oscillations. Unit 10- Dendrochronology and forest production. Response of growth rings in relation to mineral fertilization. Growth rates and classification of forest sites. Quality versus volume of tree growth rings and wood. Effect of thinning and pruning on the formation of growth rings. Spatial variation in tree growth. Unit 11- Dendrochronology and society. Dendroarchaeology. Specimen dating. Anthracology. Dating of historic wooden pieces. Urban dendrochronology. Atmospheric pollution and chemical elements contaminating wood. Unit 12- Fossil and sub-fossil wood. Development of long chronologies.

MARIANO M. AMOROSO, LORI D. DANIELS, PATRICK J. BAKER, J. JULIO CAMARERO. Dendroecology: Tree-Ring Analyses Applied to Ecological Studies. Vol. 231. Ecological Studies Editora Springer, 400p., (2017). ISBN: 3319616692, 9783319616698 J. LOUIS GIDDINGS JR. Dendrochronology in Northern Alaska: University of Arizona Bulletin, V12, No. 4, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research Bulletin, EditoraLiterary Licensing, 114p. (2013). ISBN 1258539985, 9781258539986 ALEX C. WIEDENHOEFT . Structure and Function of Wood. In: Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites, second edition, pp.9-32, (2013). Chapter 2.Forest Products Laboratory. Madison. ISBN: 13-9781439853818. ROSANNE D'ARRIGO,‎ NICOLE DAVI,‎ GORDON JACOBY,‎ ROB WILSON,‎ GREG WILES., Dendroclimatic Studies: Tree Growth and Climate Change in Northern Forests. Publisher: American Geophysical Union; 1 edition; 88p. (2014) ISBN-10: 111884872; ISBN-13:
978-1118848722. MALCOLM K. HUGHES ,‎ THOMAS W. SWETNAM,‎ HENRY F. DIAZ. Dendroclimatology: Progress and Prospects. Publisher: Springer; 368p. (2011). ISBN-10: 1402040105; ISBN-13: 978-1402040108 JAMES H. SPEER. Fundamentals of Tree Ring Research 2nd Edition Publisher: University of Arizona Press; 2 edition; 368p. (2012); ISBN-10: 0816526850; ISBN-13: 978-0816526857 MARKUS STOFFEL,‎ MICHELLE BOLLSCHWEILER,‎ DAVID R. BUTLER,‎ BRIAN H. LUCKMAN. Tree Rings and Natural Hazards: A State-of-Art. Series: Advances in Global Change Research (Book 41). Publisher: Springer; 2010 edition; 505p. (2010); ISBN-10: 9048187354; ISBN-13: 978-9048187355 FRITZ HANS SCHWEINGRUBER,‎ ANNETT BÖRNER,‎ ERNST-DETLEF SCHULZE. Atlas of Woody Plant Stems: Evolution, Structure, and Environmental Modifications. Publisher: Springer; 229p. (2011); ISBN-10: 3540325239; ISBN-13: 978-3540325239 FRITZ HANS SCHWEINGRUBER. Wood Structure and Environment. Publisher: Springer; 279p. (2010); ISBN-10: 364208009X; ISBN-13: 978-3642080098 CATHRYN H. GREENBERG,‎ BEVERLY S. COLLINS. Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation - Series: Managing Forest Ecosystems (Book 32). Publisher: Springer; 400p. (2016); ISBN-10: 3319215264; ISBN-13: 978-3319215266 KLAUS ULRICH LEISTIKOW,‎ ROMEYN BECK HOUGH. The Woodbook Hardcover. Publisher: Taschen America; 772p. (2013); ISBN-10: 383653603X; ISBN-13: 978-3836536035 AIDAN WALKER The Encyclopedia Of Wood: A Tree-By-Tree Guide. Publisher: Checkmark Books; 192p. (2005); ISBN-10: 0816061815; ISBN-13: 978-0816061815 R. BRUCE HOADLEY. Understanding Wood: A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology Hardcover. Publisher: The Taunton Press; 288p. (2000); ISBN-10: 1561583588; ISBN-13: 978-1561583584