Dendrochronology and climate in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: Which species, where and how

Cláudia Fontana, Gabriela Reis-Avila, Cristina Nabais, Paulo Cesar Botosso, Juliano Morales Oliveira


As dendrochronology noticeably increased in tropical regions during the last three decades, some general patterns could emerge from comprehensive analyses of case studies. Here, we investigated the state of dendrochronology’s contributions to the bioclimatology of wood species in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (AF). We asked: Which species and sites had cross-datable growth-ring series suitable for bioclimatic inference? What were the sampling and analytical methods applied? What do these studies tell us about plant-growth sensitivity to climate conditions? Which knowledge gaps may be identified? For this, we searched for articles addressing climate-growth relationships by means of cross-dated growth-ring chronologies within the AF. We found 11 articles, covering 16 chronologies from 10 species. The average number of trees in chronologies was 16 individuals. 87% of chronologies suggested a positive precipitation signal, and some positive temperature signal was identified in all chronologies that were compared to monthly or seasonal temperature series. The findings are supported by the specialized literature, which points out the influence of precipitation in the tropics. However, making stronger conclusions about the role of climate on the growth of AF tree species will require greater efforts in surveying the diverse tree flora and developing rigorous cross-dated chronologies.

Keywords: climate-growth relationship, dendrochronological parameters, tropical forest, subtropical forest.

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