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Useful Strategies for the Development of Tropical Tree-Ring Chronologies

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This paper outlines efficient strategies for the development of long, climatically sensitive tree-ring chronologies in the tropics. Effective strategies include sampling useful temperate or subtropical species that extend naturally into the tropics; sampling species in botanical families that have already provided examples useful for dendrochronology (e. g., Pinaceae, Taxodiaceae, Verbenaceae); targeting deciduous species in seasonally dry forests; and sampling species described in the literature or found in xylaria that have promising anatomical features such as ring porosity and marginal parenchyma. Dendrochronology can also be used to test the annual nature of growth banding in tropical species. The cross-dating oflong ring-width time series between individual trees and between multiple sites in a region is strong evidence that the growth rings are indeed synchronized with the annual calendar. This can be confirmed if the ring-width data are also strongly correlated with long annual or seasonalized records of climate variability. Blind cross-dating tests to identify the cutting dates of known-age timbers can provide a final proof that a species produces reliable annual growth rings.


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