The project takes on a dendrochronological and dendroclimatological research of large and old trees by AMS/CFAMS radiocarbon dating and stable isotope analysis. It builds on our new approach, which allows the accurate dating of large live angiosperm trees.
The dendrochronological component involves continuing and developing the research on radiocarbon dating of the world’s oldest angiosperms and old Romanian trees. We intend dating giant individuals from continental Africa, Madagascar, and Australia, which belong to the African baobab and other baobab species, as well as large Romanians trees. We attempt determining the age of the investigated trees, the architecture, the fire history, the growth rate dynamics, and the upper age limit of angiosperms.
The dendroclimatological component of the project aims to reconstruct past climates by stable isotope analysis from tree ring sequences, collected from tropical species belonging to the genus Adansonia and from Romanian oaks (Quercus spp.). We plan using two isotope proxies: stable carbon isotopes from growth rings that vary mainly with rainfall, and stable oxygen isotopes, which enable for determining the source of moisture. Combining these proxies will provide important information on climate change patterns in the investigated areas, including the duration of drought and wet cycles.
Reconstruction of past climate changes might provide a clue to the adaptive capacity of the trees for enduring changes.