Browsing Radiocarbon, Volume 43, Number 2A (2001 by Subjects
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Seasonal Fluctuation of Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition in Japanese Cypress Tree Rings from the Last Glacial Period—Possibility of Paleoenvironment ReconstructionSeasonal variations of delta-13C were analyzed for two Japanese cypress trees (Chamaecyparis obtusa), one buried and one living. Both trees were different in age but sampled in areas geographically close to each other in central Japan. A buried cypress with 394 annual rings was excavated from Old Fuji mudflow, the last glacial strata of the dormant Mt. Fuji volcano. The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon date of this glacial sample was 18,600 +/120 BP (NUTA-4884). A living tree stem, which has 192 rings, was cut from the Izu Peninsula in 1986. In order to measure the seasonal delta-13C fluctuation, the tree rings were divided equally into three earlywood and one or two latewood consecutive sections. The delta-13C value within an annual ring generally increased from the first to the third or fourth sections then decreased in the last section. This pattern of the variation was similar in the glacial and modern samples. The delta-13C value within an annual ring seems to be controlled by environmental factors (not plant physiological ones), since there was no isotopic shift in the seasonal delta-13C variation at the earlywood-latewood boundary, which was controlled by plant physiology. The result suggests the potential to reconstruct the paleoenvironment within a year using the seasonal delta-13C variation, though site-specific conditions such as soil characteristics would also affect to its fluctuation.