CR 20:223-239 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/cr020223

Fir tree-ring reconstruction of March-July precipitation in southern Moravia (Czech Republic), 1376-1996

Rudolf Brázdil1,*, Pavla Stepánková1, Tomás Kyncl2, Josef Kyncl2

1Department of Geography, Masaryk University, Kotlárská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
2Botanical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 252 43 Pruhonice, Czech Republic

ABSTRACT: A ring-width chronology for fir Abies alba Mill. in southern Moravia (Czech Republic), compiled from historical wood and living trees, was used for the dendroclimatological reconstruction of March-July precipitation for the period 1376-1996. Based on a response function model, the precipitation series explains 38% of tree-ring width variability. In the years with thinner tree-rings, drier spring and summer seasons prevailed, whereas years with wider tree-rings indicate wetter conditions. The highest precipitation in the reconstructed series was found in the 1670s, 1710s and 1980s; the lowest in the 1380s, 1700s and, particularly, in the 1970s. Reconstruction after the 1950s is less reliable due to a weaker relationship between precipitation and fir growth. The 18th century was the driest and the 19th century the wettest in the last 600 yr. The comparison of the reconstructed March-July precipitation of southern Moravia with the Brno series (instrumental period) and with the Prague-Klementinum series (compiled from the quantitative interpretation of documentary evidence and instrumental measurements) shows a high degree of agreement, reflecting the similarities between these series over the instrumental period. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the 2 proxy data sourcesā€¹documentaries and tree-ringsā€¹are in satisfactory agreement with respect to those years with extremely thin or wide rings.

KEY WORDS: Fir ring-width chronology · Precipitation reconstruction · Extreme tree-rings · Documentary evidence · Southern Moravia

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