Age trends in tree ring growth and isotopic archives: A case study of Pinus sylvestris L. from northwestern Norway

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Abstract

[1] Measurements of tree ring width and relative density have contributed significantly to many of the large-scale reconstructions of past climatic change, but to extract the climate signal it is first necessary to remove any nonclimatic age-related trends. This detrending can limit the lower-frequency climate information that may be extracted from the archive (the “segment length curse”). This paper uses a data set of ring widths, maximum latewood density and stable carbon and oxygen isotopes from 28 annually resolved series of known-age Pinus sylvestris L. trees in northwestern Norway to test whether stable isotopes in tree rings require an equivalent statistical detrending. Results indicate that stable oxygen and carbon isotope ratios from tree rings whose cambial age exceeds c.50 years exhibit no significant age trends and thus may be used to reconstruct environmental variability and physiological processes at this site without the potential loss of low-frequency information associated with detrending.

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