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Assessment of stable isotope time series from Baobab trees as a high-resolution climate archive for (semi-)arid Africa for the last Millennium

Africa is very likely to warm more than global average during this century. Especially (semi-)arid regions are endangered to experience particularly high warming and possibly catastrophic droughts. The prediction of the climate change impact on these regions requires information about the past climate conditions in high temporal and spatial resolution. There is a massive lack of transregional highly time resolved climate proxy data for the African continent.

Evaluation and establishment of the African baobabs, Adansonia digitata and A. kilima, as a high quality climate archive for (semi-)arid Africa.

Provision of well-replicated tree-ring width and stable isotope (δ13C , δ18O) chronologies for each sampling locations in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and northern South Africa

Calibration and verification of the multi-paramater tree-ring chronologies by monitoring and climate data

Implementation of dendroecological monitoring of baobab growth, the transfer of climate and stable isotope signals to better understand seasonal changes in baobab growth

Retrieval of information about the climate response of baobabs and their adaptability to changes in water availability and atmospheric CO2 concentration (intrinsic water use efficiency, iWUE) during the Anthropocene

Reconstruction of changes in precipitation regimes governing frequency and severity of past drought periods for the last Millennium

Freie Universität Berlin, Geologische Wissenschaften (FUB)
Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Abteilung Dendrochronologie in Berlin (DAI)

German Research Foundation (DFG), HE 3089/10-1

  • Schollaen, K., Baschek, H., Heinrich, I., Slotta, F., Pauly, M., Helle, G. (2017): A guideline for sample preparation in modern tree-ring stable isotope research. - Dendrochronologia, 44, p. 133-145. | doi:10.1016/j.dendro.2017.05.002
  • Slotta, F., Helle, G., Heußner, K.-U., Shemang, E., Riedel, F. (2017): Baobabs on Kubu Island, Botswana – A dendrochronological multi-parameter study using ring width and stable isotopes (δ13C, δ18O). - Erdkunde, 71, 1, p. 23-43. | doi:10.3112/erdkunde.2017.01.02

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