• Incorporating Climatological Techniques To Improve Tree-Ring Site Selection In Complex Terrain

      Wise, Erika K.; Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Tree-Ring Society, 2011-01)
      Dendroclimatologists often approach field work with the intent of reconstructing a particular climate variable (e.g. temperature, streamflow, precipitation). Although guidelines exist for species and site selection, isolating the signal of interest is difficult in areas with complex terrain or a lack of ideal sites. In this case study, I suggest climatological techniques for a more efficient sampling scheme and apply these techniques to identify criteria for selecting sites sensitive to winter precipitation in the north-central Rocky Mountains. These techniques include examining factors influencing the regional response of tree growth to climate by utilizing the International Tree-Ring Databank (ITRDB), using eigenvector analyses to identify modes of variability between sites, and delineating climate regions based on the variable of interest through climate regionalization. Results suggest that low- or mid-elevation Pseudotsuga menziesii sites should be targeted for maximizing the winter precipitation signal in the case study area. The season of precipitation impacting growth was found to be a major component of the overall variability between sites.