Siberian Federal University: SibFU Scientists about Stable Isotopes in Annual Tree Rings

Scientists of Siberian Federal University have presented a chapter on stable isotopes in annual rings of boreal forests in the book “Stable isotopes in tree rings”. The book is published in the open access Springer Nature, Switzerland.

Researchers of SibFU, among which is SibFU’s research supervisor Eugene Vaganov, leading researcher of the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Ecosystems Olga Churakova, senior researcher of the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Ecosystems Alexander Kidryanov, head of the Laboratory of Natural Science Methods in Archaeology and History Vladimir Myglan, and senior researcher of the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Ecosystems Marina Fonti, presented an overview of existing and new chronologies obtained by the research team on the ratio of stable isotopes (carbon, oxygen and hydrogen) in the annual rings of trees growing in the boreal zone, and assessed the impact of current and past climate changes on the growth of woody plants.

“The purpose of this work is to uncover how stable isotopes of tree rings are used to solve a number of problems, from paleoclimatology to forestry management and anthropogenic impact on forests of various climatic zones. This book also provides valuable information about fundamental principles: isotope fractionation, xylogenesis and cross-dating, as well as methodological aspects, such as sampling of wood samples, analysis of stable isotopes and standardization,” said Olga Churakova, Doctor of Biological Sciences, leading researcher at the School of Ecology and Geography, SibFU.

This book will be of interest to researchers and teaching staff who use tree rings and other indirect sources of climate information to reconstruct the paleoclimate, and also for better understanding ecophysiological processes and anthropogenic impacts on forest ecosystems.

The book assesses the weaknesses and strengths of the approach using stable isotope data and its application for annual tree rings. Unlike previous studies of tree rings, which mainly used only a statistical approach, this book focuses on the physiological mechanisms that affect the variability of the isotopic composition in tree rings, reflecting the effects of the environment.

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