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No evidence for carryover effect in tree rings based on a pulse-labelling experiment on Juniperus communis in South Germany

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Key message: A clear carryover effect of tree-ring formation was not detected based on a pulse-labelling experiment conducted on Juniperus communis in South Germany. Abstract: The inherent linkage between photosynthesis and the formation of wood is important for the understanding of relationships between tree-ring series and climate/environmental data in dendroclimatology studies. However, it is impossible to reach a mechanistic procedure of tree stem radial growth depending on its carbon balance from a traditional statistical point of view alone. Pulse labelling experiment with stable carbon isotope (13CO2) has provided innovative insights into the fate of recently assimilated carbon in organs and carbon-containing compounds. In this study, we conducted an in situ pulse labelling experiment on 27 July 2016 to examine the response of tree ring and different-aged needles to short-term elevated 13CO2 of a juniper shrub growing on a heathland in South Germany. New and old needles from four expositions were sampled before and after the experiment. A wood segment was taken from the main branch and stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C) was analysed at an intra-annual time scale. Before the experiment, the mean δ13C was − 26.8 ± 0.4‰ (mean ± standard deviation) for both needle ages, while woody tissue showed about 3‰ higher δ13C compared to needles. Substantial enriched 13C was detected in the needles after the experiment. New needles showed significant higher δ13C than the old ones 1–7 days after the experiment. Significant enriched δ13C was detected in the wood from 35 to 61% of the annual tree ring in 2016, indicating that the short-term enrichment of 13C can affect wood formation for a large section. No enhancement in 13C signal appeared in the tree ring of the subsequent year 2017, suggesting the absence of a carryover effect. Wood formation did not reply on the carbohydrates stored even 1 year before and thus tree-ring ecophysiological modelling as well as dendrochronological studies should therefore benefit from such result.

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    He, M.; Bräuning, A.; Rossi, S.; Gebrekirstos, A.; Grießinger, J.; Mayr, C.; Peng, C.; Yang, B.




    isotopes, needles, wood, carbon balance, carbon containing, carry-over effects, dendroclimatology, juniperus communis, stable carbon isotope compositions, stable carbon isotopes, wood formation, forestry, biosynthesis, forestry, isotopes, juniperus communis, needles



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