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Evaluating the dendroclimatological potential of Taxus baccata (yew) in southwest Ireland

Galvin, Stephen and Potito, Aaron and Hickey, Kieran (2014) Evaluating the dendroclimatological potential of Taxus baccata (yew) in southwest Ireland. Dendrochronologia, 32 (2). pp. 144-152. ISSN 1125-7865

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Tree-ring research in Ireland has typically been dominated by Quercus species, particularly Quercus petraea and Quercus robur. Recent years have seen a greater focus on multi-species reconstructions in Ireland but, due to difficulties with the hardness of the wood, missing/pinched rings and fused stems, Taxus baccata has not been included in these investigations. Despite these difficulties, a 31-tree, 204-year T. baccata chronology was successfully constructed from Killarney National Park, southwest Ireland. The chronology exhibits promising dendroclimatological potential, with climatic responsiveness equivalent to that of the other major Irish tree taxa, including Quercus. The chronology shows the strongest relationship with May–June precipitation from Muckross House synoptic station (1970–2007; r = 0.521, p < 0.01) and Valentia Observatory (1941–2007; r = 0.545, p < 0.01). November–April temperatures also exhibited a strong relationship with the chronology post-1970 (r = 0.605, p < 0.01 for Muckross House, r = 0.567, p < 0.01 for Valentia Observatory), but this relationship is not time stable and breaks down for the pre-1970 Valentia Observatory record. The long-lived nature of T. baccata, the exceptional preservation of wood and rings in this hard softwood species, as well as its prominence in Irish archaeology, all point to the potential to expand this chronology both spatially and temporally, and demonstrate T. baccata's potential in multi-site and multi-species tree-ring studies in the region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dendrochronology, Dendroclimatology, Taxus baccata, Ireland
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: USP RSC Assistant
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 03:38
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 03:38

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