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Forests 2014, 5(12), 3087-3106; doi:10.3390/f5123087

Dendrochronological Potential in a Semi-Deciduous Rainforest: The Case of Pericopsis elata in Central Africa

1
Wood Biology Service, Royal Museum for Central Africa, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium
2
Laboratory of Wood Technology, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
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Abstract

The long-lived pioneer species Pericopsis elata is one of the rare tropical timbers on the list of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, supporting the need for accurate and reliable growth data. In one planted and one natural forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively four and 37 Pericopsis stem disks were collected. The tree-ring series of planted trees were used to confirm annual tree-ring formation. For the natural forest, a tree-ring chronology with 24 stem disks ranged from 1852 up to 2008. This chronology was compared with time-series of local precipitation, resulting in a significant correlation with the second half of the rainy season (September–November). This seasonal precipitation was related with sea surface temperatures of the West Indian Ocean. Higher precipitation during El Niño years corresponded with higher tree-ring indices but differences were not significant. In addition, pointer years were rare and did not have a consistent link with extreme climatic conditions. The existence of annual tree rings encourages further tree-ring analyses of P. elata and other flagship timber species in order to further document climate-growth responses and to provide the long-term framework that is needed for sustainable management planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: Central Africa; CITES; dendrochronology; El Niño; Pericopsis elata; pointer years; precipitation; sea surface temperature Central Africa; CITES; dendrochronology; El Niño; Pericopsis elata; pointer years; precipitation; sea surface temperature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De Ridder, M.; Toirambe, B.; Van Den Bulcke, J.; Bourland, N.; Van Acker, J.; Beeckman, H. Dendrochronological Potential in a Semi-Deciduous Rainforest: The Case of Pericopsis elata in Central Africa. Forests 2014, 5, 3087-3106.

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