3 years ago

Using X-ray CT based tree-ring width data for tree growth trend analysis

Changes in the environment influence the growth of tree species in Europe. Understanding the drivers of these growth changes is important to predict further growth and adapt forest management. To disentangle the different drivers of growth changes, it is common practice to apply mixed modeling techniques to tree-ring width series. Mixed modeling requires precise, replicated and well cross-dated tree-ring width series. The goal of this study was to compare a recently developed ring width measuring method based on X-ray Computed Tomography images (CT scan) with the standard LINTAB measuring method and to examine whether the same growth trends are detected with both methods using common beech (Fagus sylvatica) and sessile oak trees (Quercus petraea) as a case study. Although the CT scan method has a lower resolution than LINTAB measurements, it is of interest since it measures wood density in addition to ring width and it is less laborious in comparison to standard ring width measuring methods. No significant differences in ring width were found between the two measuring methods. The small non-significant difference between the two methods could largely be explained by the drying of cores needed for CT scanning. The same growth trends were detected with both methods: for common beech and sessile oak in Southern Belgium. These findings suggest that ring widths measured on CT scan images can be used as input for long-term modeling of tree growth changes for the targeted tree species.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1125786516301229

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