A1.1 Forest growth dynamics and climate history - Dendroecological reconstruction and climate modelling [funded by BR1895/13-1]

PI(s) for this project:

Prof. Dr. Achim Bräuning


Dendroecological reconstruction and modelling of climate and forest growth variability in the surrounding of Loja in southern Ecuador during historic times.


Seasonal tree-growth dynamics and wood formation shall be studied with the help of high-resolution dendrometer measurements and quantitative analysis of wood microcores collected in monthly intervals. In contrast to investigations carried out during the previous project, the proposed study shall be conducted along a climatic gradient in southern Ecuador including humid mountain rainforests and dry deciduous forests. Based on the derived climate-growth relationships, local climate reconstructions using long increment cores from different tree species shall be developed from ring width measurements and analyses of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in the wood cellulose. These tree-ring data will be calibrated with spatial fields of certain climate parameters derived from NCEP/NCAR data by using the MM5 model. From these calibrations a climate-growth model named CLIVATREC shall be developed that relates variations in tree-ring data to regional variations of climate parameters. This model is used to reconstruct areal changes of climate variability during the past ca. 300 years and potential tree growth reactions on future climate developments. A close comparison to vegetation history derived from pollen analysis will be carried out. On the plot level, forest dynamics and tree reaction to management measures shall be deepened by analysing the growth reactions to controlled tree fellings that were conducted in the forest of the RBSF.