A single-substrate model to interpret intra-annual stable isotope signals in tree-ring cellulose


J. Ogée. Fax: +33 557 122430; e-mail: jogee@bordeaux.inra.fr


The carbon and oxygen stable isotope composition of wood cellulose (δ13Ccellulose and δ18Ocellulose, respectively) reveal well-defined seasonal variations that contain valuable records of past climate, leaf gas exchange and carbon allocation dynamics within the trees. Here, we present a single-substrate model for wood growth to interpret seasonal isotopic signals collected in an even-aged maritime pine plantation growing in South-west France, where climate, soil and flux variables were also monitored. Observed seasonal patterns in δ13Ccellulose and δ18Ocellulose were different between years and individuals, and mostly captured by the model, suggesting that the single-substrate hypothesis is a good approximation for tree ring studies on Pinus pinaster, at least for the environmental conditions covered by this study. A sensitivity analysis revealed that the model was mostly affected by five isotopic discrimination factors and two leaf gas-exchange parameters. Modelled early wood signals were also very sensitive to the date when cell wall thickening begins (twt). Our model could therefore be used to reconstruct twt time series and improve our understanding of how climate influences this key parameter of xylogenesis.