Annual chronology and climate response in Abies guatemalensis Rehder (Pinaceae) in Central America

Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Matthew J. Taylor, Javier Martin-Fernandez, Diego Pons, Malcolm Dell, Christopher Chopp, Edwin J. Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The continued expansion of dendroclimatology into Mesoamerica requires the identification and evaluation of species whose rings can be precisely dated and then statistically compared with precipitation and temperature variability in order to make inferences about past climate. Here, we establish the basis for using Abies guatemalensis Rehder (Pinaceae) for climate reconstruction in Central America. Annual crossdating in this montane species is demonstrated at high-elevation sites in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes in western Guatemala. We find that ring width is most strongly influenced by early growing season moisture conditions, controlled by late dry season rainfall, and negatively correlated with growing season temperature. Our chronology is also significantly negatively correlated with eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. Our confirmation of annual chronology and the identification of a climatic signal in this species now allow its use in local and regional paleoclimate reconstructions, as well as ecological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Central America
  • Guatemala
  • Mesoamerica
  • climate
  • dendrochronology
  • drought
  • tree-ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


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