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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 May 2020

27 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Alpine Holocene Tree-Ring Dataset: Age-related trends in the stable isotopes of cellulose show species-specific patterns

Tito Arosio1,2, Malin M. Ziehmer1,2,5, Kurt Nicolussi3, Christian Schlüchter2,4, and Markus Leuenberger1,2 Tito Arosio et al.
  • 1Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Geography, Universität Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 4Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Socinstrasse 57, 4051 Basel, Switzerland

Abstract. Stable isotopes in tree-ring cellulose are important tools for climatic reconstructions even though their interpretation could be challenging due to non-climate signals, primarily those related to tree ageing. Previous studies on the presence of tree-age related trends during juvenile as well as adult growth phases in δD, δ18O and δ13C time series yielded variable results that are not coherent among different plant species. We analysed possible trends in the extracted cellulose of tree-rings of 85 larch trees and 119 cembran pine trees, i.e. in samples of one deciduous and one evergreen conifer species collected at the treeline in the Alps covering nearly the whole Holocene. The age trend analyses of all tree-ring variables were conducted on the basis of mean curves established by averaging the cambial-age aligned tree series. For cambial ages over 100 years, our results prove the absence of any age-related effect in the δD, δ18O and δ13C time series for both the evergreen as well the deciduous conifer species, with the only exception of larch δD. However, for lower cambial ages, we found trends that differ for each isotope and species. I.e., mean δ13C values in larch do not vary with ageing and can be used without detrending, whereas those in cembran pine show a juvenile effect and the data should be detrended. Mean δ18O values present two distinct ageing phases for both species complicating detrending. Similarly, mean δD values in larch change in the first 50 yr whereas cembran pine between 50–100 yr. Values for these two periods of cambial age for δD and δ18O should be used with caution for climatic reconstructions, ideally complemented by additional information regarding mechanisms for these trends.

Tito Arosio et al.

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Tito Arosio et al.

Tito Arosio et al.

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Short summary
Stable isotopes in tree-ring cellulose are tools for climatic reconstructions but their interpretation is challenging due to non-climate trends. We analysed the tree age trends in tree-ring isotopes of deciduous larch and evergreen cembran pine. Samples were collected at treeline in Alps covering the whole Holocene. For cambial ages over 100 years, we prove the absence of age-trends in the δD, δ18O and δ13C for both species. For lower cambial ages, trends differ for each isotope and species.
Stable isotopes in tree-ring cellulose are tools for climatic reconstructions but their...
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