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Evaluating the wood anatomical and dendroecological potential of arctic dwarf shrub communities

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces a suite of anatomical features observed in nearly thousand specimens from ten dwarf shrub species in coastal East Greenland. It suggests that species-specific anatomical characteristics in relation to site-specific conditions should be considered prior to the measurement and subsequent crossdating of ring widths. Sampling during the growing season results in incompletely formed and lignified outermost rings. Therefore, beginning and end of plant growth at different sites within a region can be estimated by comparing the outermost rings of individuals. New staining techniques with different dyes allow straightforward analyses of diverse anatomical features on thin sections, including longevity of nuclei in cells. Although this study focused on a selection of arctic dwarf shrubs only, the main anatomical features observed are likely also representative for other species growing in alpine environments.

Keywords: alpine; arctic dwarf shrubs; East Greenland; ring widths

10.1163/9789004265608_013
/content/books/b9789004265608s013
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