Pinus halepensis tree-ring widths at the periphery of the eastern Mediterranean forest growth as a possible proxy for recontruction of vegetation greeness.

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Linah N Ababneh, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
The IPCC report (2014) signifies the importance of understanding the dynamic and elastic relationship between global climate change and forest growth as ramifications are still uncertain despite increased experimental efforts (IPCC 2014, Frank et al.,2015). Further, understanding and modeling this relationship is over emphasized in arid to semi-arid areas such as the Middle East where limited natural resources have proven record of correlation with conflict (e.g.Kelley et al., 2015). This work reports on the response of a forest stand of Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine) from north Jordan to variability in precipitation using instrumental and satellite derived data. The site is located in north Jordan on the transitional zones from forest to steppe of the eastern Mediterranean as classified by the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN, 2015). The aim is to model the relationship between annual earlywood, latewood and tree-ring width indices with instrumental data, reanalysis data and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in the period from 1976-2012 for a possible use of tree-ring widths as vegetation greenness proxy. The highest significant correlation (p< 0.005, α =0.05) is between current year's growth and prior spring precipitation (instrumental and reanalysis) and NDVI. Reanalysis data correlates significantly (p<0.005, α =0.05, r: 0.85) with instrumental data (1976-2012) but is limited by the records’ length. There is definitely a proven correlation between seasonal tree-ring widths and vegetation index that offers the potential for reconstruction of vegetation index if applied at the regional level and could be extrapolated to desert areas that lacks proxy data with annually resolved resolution such as tree-rings.