Diverse climate sensitivity of Mediterranean tree-ring width and density

Ulf Büntgen, David Frank, Valerie Trouet, Jan Esper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Understanding long-term environmental controls on the formation of tree-ring width (TRW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) is fundamental for evaluating parameter-specific growth characteristics and climate reconstruction skills. This is of particular interest for mid-latitudinal environments where future rates of climate change are expected to be most rapid. Here we present a network of 28 TRW and 21 MXD chronologies from living and relict conifers. Data cover an area from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east and an altitudinal gradient from 1,000 to 2,500 m asl. Age trends, spatial autocorrelation functions, carry-over effects, variance changes, and climate responses were analyzed for the individual sites and two parameter-specific regional means. Variations in warm season (May-September) temperature mainly control MXD formation (r = 0.58 to 0.87 from inter-annual to decadal time-scales), whereas lower TRW sensitivity to temperature remains unstable over space and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Climate reconstructions
  • Conifers
  • Dendroclimatology
  • Growth responses
  • Summer temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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