Climate sensitivity of Mediterranean pine growth reveals distinct east-west dipole

Andrea Seim, Kerstin Treydte, Valerie Trouet, David Frank, Patrick Fonti, Willy Tegel, Momchil Panayotov, Laura Fernández-Donado, Paul Krusic, Ulf Büntgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The European Mediterranean region is governed by a characteristic climate of summer drought that is likely to increase in duration and intensity under predicted climate change. However, large-scale network analyses investigating spatial aspects of pre-instrumental drought variability for this biogeographic zone are still scarce. In this study we introduce 54 mid- to high-elevation tree-ring width (TRW) chronologies comprising 2186 individual series from pine trees (Pinus spp.). This compilation spans a 4000-km east-west transect from Spain to Turkey, and was subjected to quality control and standardization prior to the development of site chronologies. A principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify spatial growth patterns during the network's common period 1862-1976, and new composite TRW chronologies were developed and investigated. The PCA reveals a common variance of 19.7% over the 54 Mediterranean pine chronologies. More interestingly, a dipole pattern in growth variability is found between the western (15% explained variance) and eastern (9.6%) sites, persisting back to 1330 AD. Pine growth on the Iberian Peninsula and Italy favours warm early growing seasons, but summer drought is most critical for ring width formation in the eastern Mediterranean region. Synoptic climate dynamics that have been in operation for the last seven centuries have been identified as the driving mechanism of a distinct east-west dipole in the growth variability of Mediterranean pines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2503-2513
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Climate dynamics
  • Dendroclimatology
  • Drought response
  • Mediterranean east-west dipole
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Pinus spp
  • Principal component analysis
  • Tree-ring width

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate sensitivity of Mediterranean pine growth reveals distinct east-west dipole'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this