Radiocarbon analysis of Pinus lagunae tree rings: Implications for tropical dendrochronology

TitleRadiocarbon analysis of Pinus lagunae tree rings: Implications for tropical dendrochronology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsBiondi, F
Accession NumberWOS:000085637200003

A promising species for tropical dendrochronology is Pinus lagunae, a pine tree found in Baja California Sur (Mexico) around lat 23.5 degrees N. In 1995, we sampled a total of 27 wood cores from 13 Pinus lagunae trees in Sierra La Victoria (23 degrees 36'N, 109 degrees 56'W),just north of Sierra La Laguna, at an elevation of 1500-1600 m. Selected trees were locally dominant, but their ring-width patterns could not be crossdated. To test the hypothesis that visible growth layers in Pinus lagunae are formed annually, we measured radiocarbon amounts in individual rings by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Twenty-three C-14 measurements were used to trace the location of the 1963-64 "bomb spike" in 3 wood increment cores. By comparing the location of that Delta(14)C extreme with the number of visible radial wood increments, it was possible to conclude that 2 cores had a number of locally absent rings, while the 3rd one included a few years with more than one growth layer. Therefore, ring-width patterns of sampled Pinus lagunae were not consistent from one tree to another, most likely because of climatic regime in combination with microsite features. While the possibility of generating Pinus lagunae tree-ring chronologies cannot entirely be ruled out, the development of dendrochronological proxy records of climate from coniferous species in tropical North America should focus on species and sites that experience a more pronounced seasonality.