Woodland - Spring 2019 - 8

The tulip poplar is the tallest tree documented
in the eastern United States and was one of
five species whose rings were analyzed for
carbon and oxygen storage.

Continued

TREE RINGS TELL CLIMATE STORIES THAT TECHNOLOGY CAN'T
SOURCE: SCIENCE DAILY.COM

Satellite imagery, carbon
dioxide measurements, and
computer models all help scientists
understand how climate and
carbon dynamics are changing
in the world's forests. But the
technology powering these hightech data only stretches back about
30 years, limiting our picture of
long-term change.
A new study in Nature
Communications by scientists
from the Harvard Forest, Columbia
University, ETH Zürich, and
elsewhere shows how information
revealed by a new method of
analyzing tree rings matches
the story told by more high-tech
equipment over the short-term.
Because trees are long-lived,
looking back in their rings with this
new approach may add decades or
even centuries to our understanding
of carbon storage and climate

8 WOODLAND * Spring 2019

change in forests.
To test whether tree rings are a
good proxy for satellite and other
data, the scientists examined ring
samples from two widespread tree
species -- tulip poplar (Liriodendron
tulipifera) and northern red oak
(Quercus rubra) -- growing in three
climatically different regions of the
eastern US.
By analyzing the carbon and
oxygen molecules (stable isotopes)
stored in the rings, they could
compare the trees' own picture
of forest productivity to estimates
derived from satellites. They found
strong agreement each year, and
over time.
The tree rings also revealed
that the biggest changes in annual
forest growth were linked to
moisture availability, regardless of
climate. "Our method showed that
the productivity of a forest can be

estimated using information from
just five trees," said Laia Andreu
Hayles, an Associate Research
Professor at the Tree-Ring
Laboratory of Columbia University's
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory,
and co-author of the new study.
"The stable isotopes measured in
tree rings are highly sensitive to
tracking moisture."
The team said the full power
of this new method would rely on
an expanded network of tree ring
research. "When we put tree ring
data to work in historical climate
models, we find that the models are
more powerful when more species
are included," said Neil Pederson, a
Senior Ecologist at Harvard Forest
and co-author of the new study.
"I suspect this might also be the
case when we use models to look
forward, to future forest productivity
and carbon storage."
A

GERRY BISHOP/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

©ISTOCK.COM/ROMOLOTAVANI

Seedlings


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Woodland - Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Spring 2019

Overstory
Forest Interactions Seedlings
Forests and Families
Brittany Vanderwall: Saying Yes to Opportunity
‘chipping In’ to Reduce Wildfire Risk in California
Strength in Numbers: Tree Farmers and Advocacy Leaders Rally to Recover Post-Disaster
Tools and Resources
Growing Forest Conservation, Together: The 2019 National Leadership Conference
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Intro
Woodland - Spring 2019 - cover1
Woodland - Spring 2019 - cover2
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 3
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Overstory
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 5
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Forest Interactions Seedlings
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 7
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 8
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 9
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 10
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 11
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 12
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 13
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 14
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Forests and Families
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 16
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 17
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Brittany Vanderwall: Saying Yes to Opportunity
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 19
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 20
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 21
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 22
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 23
Woodland - Spring 2019 - ‘chipping In’ to Reduce Wildfire Risk in California
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 25
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 26
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 27
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 28
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 29
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Strength in Numbers: Tree Farmers and Advocacy Leaders Rally to Recover Post-Disaster
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 31
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 32
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 33
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 34
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 35
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Tools and Resources
Woodland - Spring 2019 - 37
Woodland - Spring 2019 - Growing Forest Conservation, Together: The 2019 National Leadership Conference
Woodland - Spring 2019 - cover3
Woodland - Spring 2019 - cover4
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