The climate reconstruction potential of Acacia cambagei (gidgee) for semi-arid regions of Australia using stable isotopes and elemental abundances

Witt, G. Bradd, English, Nathan B., Balanzategui, Daniel, Hua, Quan, Gadd, Patricia, Heijnis, Henk, and Bird, Michael I. (2017) The climate reconstruction potential of Acacia cambagei (gidgee) for semi-arid regions of Australia using stable isotopes and elemental abundances. Journal of Arid Environments, 136. pp. 19-27.

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To provide multi-centennial, annually-resolved records of climate for arid and semi-arid areas of Australia it is necessary to investigate the potential climate signals in tree species in this large region. Using a stable isotope and x-ray fluorescence approach to dendrochronology in Acacia cambagei, this study demonstrates short (10 years) proxies of temperature and precipitation are possible. Because rings in A. cambagei are difficult to see, precluding traditional dendrochronology, we used elemental abundances of Ca and Sr as an annual chronometer back to 1962. Radiocarbon analysis confirmed that our dating of wood from two trees. We compared delta C-13 and delta O-18 from the alpha-cellulose of the dated wood over the most recent 10 years (n = 10) to local climate records demonstrating significant relationships between delta O-18 and precipitation (r = -0.85, p < 0.002); mean monthly maximum temperature (r = 0.69, p < 0.03); and drought indexes (CRU scPDSI 0.5 degrees , r = -0.89, p < 0.001) for February and March. Acacia cambagei may be useful in developing regional networks of climate proxies for drought. Using modern trees, in combination with architectural timbers, it may be possible to construct a multi-century, annually-resolved proxy-record of rainfall and temperature for semi-arid north-eastern Australia. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item ID: 49238
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-922X
Keywords: stable isotopes, ITRAX, hardwood, dendrochronology, climate change, radiocarbon
Funders: AINSE, University of Queensland (UQ), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: AINSE ALNGRA12098, ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award DE130100295
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 16:55
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370904 Palaeoclimatology @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3703 Geochemistry > 370303 Isotope geochemistry @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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