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