Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Todd E Dawson1, John S Roden2, Steve L Voelker3, James A. Johnstone4 and Anthony Ambrose1, (1)University of California Berkeley, Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry, Berkeley, CA, United States, (2)Southern Oregon Univ, Ashland, OR, United States, (3)Oregon State University, Department of Forest, Ecosystems and Society,, Corvallis, OR, United States, (4)University of Washington Seattle Campus, Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean, Seattle, WA, United States
Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) occupies a long and narrow range at the land-sea interface from the southern Big Bur region to the California-Oregon boarder. Since mature trees can live in excess of 2000 years, using the interannual variability in the oxygen and carbon stable isotope composition of tree rings obtained from trees growing in different parts of the redwood range holds the potential for obtaining a long-term record of California’s coastal climate, including the history of temperatures, low cloud / fog, rainfall and associated climatic drivers of their variation. We analyzed the oxygen and carbon stable isotope composition of tree ring cellulose from both tree cores and whole cross-sectional slabs and compared these data to several regional climate indicies and to published growth chronologies to obtain the long-view on California’s coastal climate.

Several highlights will be presented and discussed. These include: (1) redwoods faithfully record water sources they use in the oxygen stable isotope composition of their tree ring cellulose; (2) these is both strong watershed- and regional-scale coherence; (3) redwood tree ring carbon isotope composition shows its strongest correlations to tree water status, stand-scale humidity, and at the regional scale to what we term “summer precipitation” anomalies (lack of rain with presence of fog); also (4) that carbon stable isotope composition is very sensitive to within tree and stand microclimate while oxygen stable isotope composition seems to be sensitive to topographic site factors like slope position and proximity to riparian / gully habitats; (5) multivariate climatic analyses reveal that summertime drought recorded in the isotope excursions are most strongly linked to atmospheric circulation anomalies; and (6) that redwood tree rings and their isotope composition provide great potential for reconstructing high-resolution paleo-climate along the California coast.