A Dual Stable Isotope Approach Unravels Common Climate Signals and Species-Specific Responses to Environmental Change Stored in Multi-Century Tree-Ring Series from the Tibetan Plateau

Language
en
Document Type
Article
Issue Date
2019-08-21
First published
2019-03-29
Issue Year
2019
Authors
Grießinger, Jussi
Bräuning, Achim
Helle, Gerhard
Schleser, Gerhard Hans
Hochreuther, Philipp
Meier, Wolfgang Jens-Henrik
Zhu, Haifeng
Editor
Publisher
MDPI
Abstract

Tree-rings are recorders of environmental signals and are therefore often used to reconstruct past environmental conditions. In this paper, we present four annually resolved, multi-centennial tree-ring isotope series from the southeastern Tibetan plateau. The investigation site, where juniper and spruce trees jointly occur, is one of the highest known tree-stands in the world. Tree ring cellulose oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotopes were analyzed for a common period of 1685–2007 AD to investigate climate–isotope relationships. Therefore, various climate parameters from a local meteorological station and from the CRU 4.02 dataset were used. Tree-ring δ18O of both species revealed highly significant sensitivities with a high degree of coherence to hydroclimate variables during the growing season. The obtained δ18O–climate relationships can even be retained using a species mean. In contrast, the individual δ13C series indicated a weaker and non-uniform response to the tested variables. Underlying species-specific responses and adaptations to the long-term trend in atmospheric CO2 bias even after a trend correction identified dominant environmental factors triggering the tree-ring δ13C at our site. However, analysis of individual intrinsic water-use efficiency in juniper and spruce trees indicated a species-specific adaptation strategy to climate change.

Journal Title
Geosciences
Volume
9
Issue
4
Citation
Geosciences 9.4 (2019). <https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/4/151>
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