Climate-Growth Relationship of Pinus Nigra Tree-Ring Width Chronology from the Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

University of Forestry, Dendrology Department, BG – 1756 Sofia, Bulgaria


SHISHKOVA, V. and M. PANAYOTOV, 2013. Climate-growth relationship of Pinus nigra tree-ring width chronology from the Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., Supplement 2, 19: 225–228


Previous studies of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra Arnold) from different parts of Europe outlined the species as valuable for dendroclimatic analysis. It is usually suitable for high quality precipitation reconstruction for the periods before instrumental measurements. Despite this and the fact that in Bulgaria there are centuries-old Pinus nigra forests, local dendroclimatic studies are scarce. The aim of the study is to analyze the climate-growth relationship in tree-ring width chronology constructed from Pinus nigra trees from the region of Dobrostan in the Rhodope Mts., Bulgaria. The constructed chronology was composed of 32 cores from 17 trees for the period 1741-2007 using standard dendrochronological methods. The statistical analysis showed high inter-series correlation (r = 0.645) and population signal (EPS) above 0.85 after 1850. Correlation analysis of the constructed chronology was performed with the climatic data from Sadovo, which is close to the study site and offers one of the longest reliable climate series in Bulgaria with continuous measurements since 1893. Our results showed high statistically significant negative correlation with the temperatures from the summer of growth and the summer prior to growth (r > 0.4). The relationship with precipitation amounts is high and positive. Therefore, we consider that there is clear and temporally stable drought signal in the constructed chronology and it could be successfully used to reconstruct precipitation for the period without instrumental data.

Key words: tree rings, dendroclimatology, Pinus nigra, Rhodopes
Abbreviations: DBH – diameter at breast height; TRW – tree ring width; PDSI – Palmer drought severity index; EPS – expressed population signal

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