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CR 51:217-228 (2012)  -  DOI:

Climate sensitivity of a millennium-long pine chronology from Albania

Andrea Seim1,2,*, Ulf Büntgen1,3, Patrick Fonti1, Hajri Haska4,8, Franz Herzig5, Willy Tegel6, Valerie Trouet7, Kerstin Treydte1

1Swiss Federal Research Institute, WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
3Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Zähringerstrasse 25, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
4Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, Rruga e Durresit 27, Tirana, Albania
5Bavarian State Department for the Protection of Monuments and Sites, 86672 Thierhaupten, Germany
6Institute for Forest Growth, University of Freiburg, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
7Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
8Present address: Agricultural University of Tirana, Faculty of Forestry Science, 1029 Kamez-Tirana, Albania

ABSTRACT: Considerable progress has been made in assessing European climate variations of the last millennium, but little is known about the Mediterranean region and particularly its eastern part including the Balkan Peninsula. This area, however, will be particularly vulnerable to a predicted temperature increase and precipitation decrease, likely resulting in amplified drought extremes and episodes. Here we present a well-replicated composite tree-ring width chronology of millennial length from Albania, Balkan Peninsula. The Pinus heldreichii Christ dataset contains 302 series from 217 living and dead trees from 3 high-elevation sites, and spans the years 968–2008. Signal strength and growth–climate relationships were investigated using subsets according to location, age class, and growth level, as well as differently detrended chronology versions. Growth comparisons amongst the 3 sites’ chronologies, between age classes and between growth-rate groups reveal an overall strong common signal. Growth–climate relationships over the last 100 yr, however, indicate that tree-ring formation does not depend on one single dominant factor, but rather on various combinations of summer precipitation and temperature resulting in temporally varying drought sensitivity. Our results emphasize a mixed and variable climate signal, corresponding with findings from other P. heldreichii sites across the Balkan Peninsula and Southern Italy.

KEY WORDS: Tree-ring width · Pinus heldreichii · Dendroclimatology · Albania · Mediterranean climate · Climate reconstruction

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Cite this article as: Seim A, Büntgen U, Fonti P, Haska H and others (2012) Climate sensitivity of a millennium-long pine chronology from Albania. Clim Res 51:217-228.

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