Climate controls on tree growth in the Western Mediterranean

Ramzi Touchan, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, David M. Meko, Dalila Kerchouche, Said Slimani, Rachid Ilmen, Fouad Hasnaoui, Frederic Guibal, Jesus Julio Camarero, Raúl Sánchez-Salguero, Alma Piermattei, Abdessadek Sesbou, Benjamin I. Cook, Mohamed Sabir, Hayat Touchane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The first large-scale network of tree-ring chronologies from the western Mediterranean (WM; 32°N–43°N, 10°W–17°E) is described and analyzed to identify the seasonal climatic signal in indices of annual ring width. Correlation and rotated empirical orthogonal function analyses are applied to 85 tree-ring series and corresponding gridded climate data to assess the climate signal embedded in the network. Chronologies range in length from 80 to 1129 years. Monthly correlations and partial correlations show overall positive associations for Pinus halepensis (PIHA) and Cedrus atlantica (CDAT) with winter (December–February) and spring (March–May) precipitation across this network. In both seasons, the precipitation correlation with PIHA is stronger, while CDAT chronologies tend to be longer. A combination of positive correlations between growth and winter–summer precipitation and negative partial correlations with growing season temperatures suggests that chronologies in at least part of the network reflect soil moisture and the integrated effects of precipitation and evapotranspiration signal. The range of climate response observed across this network reflects a combination of both species and geographic influences. Western Moroccan chronologies have the strongest association with the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1442
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • North Africa
  • chronology development
  • cubic smoothing spline
  • expressed population signal
  • general circulation models
  • palmer drought index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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