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One hundred years of tree-ring research in the tropics – a brief history and an outlook to future challenges

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Tree-ring analysis in the tropics exists since more than one hundred years. In more than 20 tropical countries and numerous tree species the existence of annual tree-rings is doubtless proven. Rhythmic growth is induced by short drought periods or long lasting inundation, the influence of the photoperiod is questionable. Climatological analyses of tree-ring chronologies show the influence of El Niño on tree growth. Tree-ring based age determinations give maximum ages of not more than 600 years for broad leaf trees in tropical lowlands. Increment estimations by ring-width measurements give reliable results for sustainable management systems in tropical forests.
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Keywords: El Niño-Southern Oscillation; Tropical dendrochronology; climate; growth dynamics; growth rhythm; phenology; wedging rings

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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