Fundamentals of Tree-ring Research

Front Cover
University of Arizona Press, 2010 - Social Science - 333 pages
Tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) is a method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree-ring growth patterns. As author James Speer notes, trees are remarkable bioindicators. Although there are other scientific means of dating climatic and environmental events, dendrochronology provides the most reliable of all paleorecords. Dendrochronology can be applied to very old trees to provide long-term records of past temperature, rainfall, fire, insect outbreaks, landslides, hurricanes, and ice storms—to name only a few events.

This comprehensive text addresses all of the subjects that a reader who is new to the field will need to know and will be a welcome reference for practitioners at all levels. It includes a history of the discipline, biological and ecological background, principles of the field, basic scientific information on the structure and growth of trees, the complete range of dendrochronology methods, and a full description of each of the relevant subdisciplines.

Individual chapters address the composition of wood, methods of field and laboratory study, dendroarchaeology, dendroclimatology, dendroecology, dendrogeomorphology, and dendrochemistry. The book also provides thorough introductions to common computer programs and methods of statistical analysis. In the final chapter, the author describes “frontiers in dendrochronology,” with an eye toward future directions in the field. He concludes with several useful appendixes, including a listing of tree and shrub species that have been used successfully by dendrochronologists. Throughout, photographs and illustrations visually represent the state of knowledge in the field.
 

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User Review  - billsearth - LibraryThing

I have done college work using increment coring of trees. This book is a very good reference. For its publishing date, nine years ago, it still covers the topic very well. The book;s organization, illustrations, explanations, index tables and references are all top notch, clear, and inclusive. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Some Basic Principles and Concepts in Dendrochronology
10
History of Dendrochronology
28
Growth and Structure of Wood
43
Field and Laboratory Methods
72
Computer Programs and Statistical Methods
106
Measuring Programs
110
YUX
143
Dendroclimatology
174
Dendroecology
189
Dendrogeomorphology
219
Dendrochemistry
231
Frontiers in Dendrochronology
250
Appendix A Tree and Shrub Species That Have Been Used
257
Appendix B Age of the Oldest Trees per Species
275
Field Note Cards
285

Spectral Analysis
149
Chronologies Used in Dendroarchaeology
161
Future of Dendroarchaeology
173

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About the author (2010)

James H. Speer is an associate professor of geography and geology at Indiana State University and is the organizer of the Annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek. He is the current president of the Tree-Ring Society and his scholarly articles appear in leading journals including Publications in Ecology, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Journal of Biogeography, and Climate Research.

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