Tree ring responses to climate variability of xerophytic thickets from South Soalara, Madagascar

Gaspard, Diary Tenompitia; Venegas-Gonzalez, Alejandro; Beeckman, Hans; Randriamalala, Josoa Ramarolanonana; Tomazello-Filho, Mario; De Ridder, Maaike; Ramananantoandro, Tahiana


Xerophytic thickets occur along the southwestern part of Madagascar. Although providing a wide variety of resources and services to the local population, this particular vegetation is subjected to deforestation. This study focuses on linking dendroclimatology and dendroecology by examining the spatial and temporal variability of the ecological growth conditions. Information from tree rings was retrieved, on one hand, to identify the problem of the limiting effects of past climate on growth and, on the other hand, to show how local environment takes part in the growth pattern of South Soalara species, in the southwestern part of Madagascar. Methods and principles of dendrochronology were applied on nine species belonging to seven botanical families. A total of 42 stem discs from 3 to 5 trees per species were collected at 30 cm height. All discs exhibited visible tree rings, but anatomical distinctness varied between species. This study highlighted the annual formation of tree rings through successful crossdating techniques. Then, from the nine constructed chronologies, species were grouped into three clusters. Analysis between precipitation and radial growth showed that the response to climate occurred mainly in rainy season. Large-scale climatic drivers such as sea surface temperature (SST1) of ENSO2 regions revealed a teleconnection with tree growth in cluster 1. Mean radial increments were computed from the measured tree ring width and varied from 0.66 to 1.98 mm year-1, showing that those species are slow-growing. All species were recorded as having a certain dendrochronological potential, which was ranked as useful for Rhizogum madagascariense and Terminalia gracilipes, poor for Gyrocarpus americanus and problematic for the other species. It is recommended to increase the number of wood samples and to provide more knowledge on the characteristics of the species in order to improve the quality of the chronology and the climatic signal on tree rings.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000433995400007 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: DENDROCHRONOLOGIA
Volumen: 49
Editorial: Elsevier GmbH
Fecha de publicación: 2018
Página de inicio: 57
Página final: 67


Notas: ISI