Basic principles and methods of dendrochronological specimen curation

Pearce Paul Creasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Dendrochronological collections include continuously expanding multi-taxon records of tree growth that encompass millennia and often offer irreplaceable sources of biological, environmental, and cultural information. Nevertheless, each departure of a scholar from the field - whether because of death, retirement, career change, shift in research priorities, or even move to a new institution - places collections in increased danger of being lost as viable resources. Without an organized and concerted effort to address outstanding and future issues of specimen curation, dendrochronology as a whole may become mired in the same trap that befalls many other scientific fields: collections apathy. Dendrochronological collections exist as a result of decades of effort and should function to support current and future scientific endeavors, education, and outreach, but cannot do so without adequate attention to their future. Intended as a "call to arms" this paper, focused on dendrochronology in the academic and public sector, aims to encourage discussion and, more importantly, to provide a foundation for and to instill a sense of urgency regarding long-term preservation of dendrochronological specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalTree-Ring Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrochronology
  • archives
  • collections
  • curate
  • curation
  • procedures
  • samples
  • standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Palaeontology


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