Signal strength in sub-annual tree-ring chronologies from Pinus ponderosa in Northern New Mexico

Becky Brice, Kara K. Lorion, Daniel Griffin, Alison K. Macalady, Christopher H. Guiterman, James H. Speer, Laura R. Benakoun, Amy Cutter, Megan E. Hart, Michael P. Murray, Stephen E. Nash, Robert Shepard, Alexander K. Stewart, Haitao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The creation of chronologies from intra-annual features in tree rings is increasingly utilized in dendrochronology to create season-specific climate histories, among other applications. A conifer latewood-width network has recently been developed for the southwestern United States, but considerable uncertainty remains in understanding site and species differences in signal strength and sample depth requirements. As part of the 22nd annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek, the first Pinus ponderosa earlywood-width (EW) and latewood-width (LW) chronologies were developed for the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. The aim was to extend an existing total ring-width (TW) chronology and to assess the potential for creating long LW chronologies. Analysis of chronology signal strength suggests that large sample size requirements remain a considerable hurdle for creating P. ponderosa LW chronologies longer than 400 years. At the Cat Mesa site, twenty-three sample trees were required to capture a statistically acceptable common signal in adjusted latewood (LWa), whereas only four samples were required for EW. This is significantly higher than sample depth requirements for LWa from the few other chronologies in the region where this statistic has been reported. A future priority should be to develop a conceptual guide for site and tree selection in order to maximize the potential for enhancing LW signal and for creating a robust network of multi-century LW chronologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalTree-Ring Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Jemez Mountains
  • North American Dendroecological Fieldweek
  • expressed population signal
  • partial ring widths
  • ponderosa pine
  • signal-to-noise ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Palaeontology


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