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Pre-monsoon precipitation signal in tree rings of timberline Betula utilis in the central Himalayas

Pre-monsoon precipitation signal in tree rings of timberline Betula utilis in the central Himalayas

Quaternary International 283: 72-77

Himalayan birch (Betula utilis D. Don) is a long-lived, broadleaf tree species native to the Himalayas. However, it has received limited attention for dendroclimatological studies. Based on 49 tree-ring cores from 41 Himalayan birch trees at two sites in the Langtang National Park, central Nepal, a 458-year chronology (back to AD 1552) was developed. To date, this is the longest for this species in the Himalayas despite a low sample depth before AD 1785. The chronology statistics show the potential of Himalayan birch for dendroclimatology, as indicated by a positive correlation with precipitation in May and March-May (p < .1) and an inverse relationship with temperature in May and precipitation in August (p < .5). The Himalayan birch ring-width chronology is thus an indicator for pre-monsoon precipitation variations in the central Himalayas. The wide distribution of Himalayan birch in High Asia presents an outstanding opportunity for developing a large-scale, single-species tree-ring network.

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Accession: 036437037

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DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.05.039

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