Tracing growing degree-day changes in the cuticle morphology of Betula nana leaves: a new micro-phenological palaeo-proxy
2010 (English)In: Journal of Quaternary Science, ISSN 0267-8179, E-ISSN 1099-1417, Vol. 25, no 6, 1008-1017 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Changing growing-season properties in the northern latitudes are among the most obvious consequences of ongoing global change. Available techniques including satellite monitoring and phenological observations enable the detection of changes over the last few decades to centuries, but the full range of natural variability is still difficult to capture. Here we introduce a new approach to reconstruct growing season properties, by studying imprints of prolonged growing season on epidermal cell growth in Betula nana. A high correlation between cell expansion determined in annually collected B. nana leaves and subfossil leaf fragments collected from recent peat sections in northern Scandinavia, and climatic indices such as budburst date, growing-season degree-days and May–September mean temperatures, enable the establishment of a new micro-phenological proxy for growing season characteristics. The applicability of the epidermal cell undulation index (UI) is tested by comparison with historical instrumental records of growing-season degree-days for the last 200 a. The results demonstrate the potential of the new leaf-morphology-based technique to reconstruct and quantify past changes in growing degree-days beyond instrumental data series. Applied to abundant B. nana leaf remains from peat and lake sediments, the UI may enable a reconstruction of growing degree-days throughout the Holocene and other parts of the late Quaternary.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 25, no 6, 1008-1017 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-48314DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1388ISI: 000281858800019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-48314DiVA: diva2:375150
ProjectsEU Millennium, contract no. 017008