Environmental and climatic signals from stable isotopes in Anatolian tree rings, Turkey

Halim Mutlu, Nesibe Köse, Ünal Akkemik, Duru Aral, Ali Kaya, Sturt W. Manning, Charlotte L. Pearson, Nüzhet Dalfes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Dendrochronological and oxygen-carbon isotopic analysis was conducted on tree rings collected at two different elevations from three different regions in western Anatolia, Turkey. Tree rings were sampled from Anatolian black pines (Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. pallasiana (Lamb.) Holmboe) of at least 200 years old through an N-S transect covering Bolu-Mengen (north), Kütahya-Simav, and Antalya-Alanya (south) forests. Cellulose was extracted from 5-year blocks of tree rings from lower to upper altitudes in each region. Dendrochronological site chronologies were built for each of the 6 sites, and response to climate was evaluated. The long-term δ 13C chronologies comprising the period 1800-2008 strongly decline by an average of 2. 5‰ from the mid-twentieth century, which corresponds with the commencement of industrialization in Turkey. Oxygen isotope (δ 18O) time series show dominantly low undulations, although some high-frequency variations of up to 6‰ are also observed. As a result of latitude and continent effects, oxygen isotope values of tree rings show an average of 3‰ increase from south (Antalya) to the north (Bolu). Correlations between carbon isotope ratios yield high positive values indicating that industrial pollution exerts a major control on the δ 13C systematics of the studied trees. Corrected δ 13C ratios are mostly represented by strong positive responses to variations in temperature and precipitation, whereas δ 18O and summer temperature/precipitation are negatively correlated. Tree-ring widths and δ 18O display similar responses to the temperature and sensitivity to the climatic impact of historic volcanic eruptions, and changes in the solar irradiance record are also detected in other high-resolution paleoclimate archives for the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-570
Number of pages12
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Carbon and oxygen isotopes
  • Climate
  • Dendrochronology
  • Tree ring
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change


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