Annual cyclicity in high-resolution stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios in the wood of the mangrove tree Rhizophora mucronata

Authors

  • A. VERHEYDEN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laboratory of General Botany and Nature Management (APNA), Pleinlaan, 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium,
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  • G. HELLE,

    1. Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institut für Chemie und Dynamik der Geosphäre, ICG-V Sedimentäre Systeme, Leo-Brandt Strasse, D-52425 Jülich, Germany,
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  • G. H. SCHLESER,

    1. Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institut für Chemie und Dynamik der Geosphäre, ICG-V Sedimentäre Systeme, Leo-Brandt Strasse, D-52425 Jülich, Germany,
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  • F. DEHAIRS,

    1. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laboratory of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry (ANCH), Pleinlaan, 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium and
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  • H. BEECKMAN,

    1. Laboratory of Wood Biology and Xylarium, Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), Leuvense Steenweg 13, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
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  • N. KOEDAM

    1. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laboratory of General Botany and Nature Management (APNA), Pleinlaan, 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium,
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Anouk Verheyden. Fax: + 32 2629 34 13; e-mail: anouk.verheyden@kenyanmangroves.com

ABSTRACT

In the present study, the high-resolution stable carbon (13C/12C) and oxygen (18O/16O) isotope ratio profiles in the wood of the mangrove Rhizophora mucronata Lam., a tropical tree species lacking distinct growth rings, were investigated. Variations of both isotope ratios revealed a remarkable annual cyclicity with lowest values occurring at the latewood/earlywood boundary (April–May) and highest values during the transition from earlywood to latewood (October–November). Based on the current knowledge of the physiology of this mangrove species, as well as on the current literature available on high-resolution profiles of stable isotope ratios in tree rings, possible driving forces responsible for this seasonal pattern are discussed. The annual cyclicity, together with a conspicuous isotope pattern appearing in the El-Niño year 1997, promises great potential for tropical dendrochronology.

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