Helmholtz-Zentrum Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum

Woody C3 and C4 plants vs. climate change


  • to investigate past and present response of woody C3 and C4 plants to climate change
  • to get better insight into the long-term variability of growth and water-use efficiency of woody C3 and C4 plants
  • to extend back in time the instrumental records of atmospheric CO213CO2, CO2 concentration) utilizing δ13C of tree rings from C4 plants
  • to assess δ13C of woody C4 plants as bioproductivity indicators for the northern hemisphere
  • to elucidate  the potential for adaptation of C3 and C4 plants to climate change

Study sites and Material:

  • C3 (Mamane, Sophora chrysophylla) and C4 (Akoko, Euphorbia olowaluana), from Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii (ridge between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea)
  • High quality instrumental data records from the nearby Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO), with continuous direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 since 1958 for isotope proxy data calibration


  • Measurement of growth increment periodicity and the stable isotope ratios of carbon and oxygen in tree ring cellulose
  • Dendroecological long-term monitoring of  Hawaiian woody C3 and C4 plants
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