The project contributes to a better understanding and quantification of palaeoclimate in the western Mediterranean and enables assessment of past and future hydroclimate variability and of changes on forest ecosystem productivity along an elevation gradient in a Mediterranean island area.
Its special position in the Mediterranean region, a very vulnerable area to future climate changes, together with the highly variable topography makes Corsica an ideal study area and field observation laboratory for the envisaged project. Long-living Corsican pine trees (Pinus nigra ssp. laricio) provide a very powerful dendroclimatological archive, and separation of different air masses by the north-south orientation of the main mountain range makes the island a very interesting location to establish high resolution climate and hydrological models.
The project foresees to integrate dendroecological, climatological, and hydrological studies and will mainly focus on the understanding of oxygen isotope variability in the hydrological cycle and in palaeoclimate archives. To address all project specific hypotheses and to collect all required data, the project bundle CorsicArchive consists of four individual projects, namely "Climatology", "Isotope hydrology", "Dendroecology", and "Dendroisotopes". These individual projects are closely linked together and allow for a synthesis of current and past hydro-climatic conditions on Corsica.