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Cambial Zone is the Main Target of External Factors Influence on the Conifers Tree-Ring Formation

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E.A. Babushkina, L.V. Belokopytova

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The influence of external and internal factors on tree-ring formation processes was studied for three conifers species (Larix sibirica, Pinus sylvestris, Picea obovata) growing at two sites with different soil moisture levels in the forest-steppe zone of Southern Siberia. The indexed chronologies of tree-ring width and normalized chronologies of anatomical wood cell characteristics (number of cells in a tree-ring, radial diameter and cell wall thickness) were obtained and investigated. These anatomical characteristics reflect three stages of cell differentiation. In order to compare tree-rings with different cell numbers the procedure of normalizing cell chronologies to 15 cells per ring was performed. The interrelations between the investigated wood characteristics were revealed and mathematically described. The tree-ring width depends on cell production (i.e. on the number of cells in a ring), and is consid-ered as a resulting characteristic of this stage of cell differentiation according to the very high significance level of the linear approximating function. The radial size of the cells significantly depends on the cell production as well. It’s a curvilinear relationship, which is approximated by an exponential function. The relationship between a size and cell wall thickness is more complicated. Polynomial functions have been used for its approximation. On the basis of these relationships the technique for indexing of the chronologies of cell characteristics was proposed. Statistical characteristics of measured and indexed chronolo-gies (sensitivity coefficients, inter-series correlation coefficients and standard deviations) were analyzed. The correlation analysis of the relationship of different wood characteristics and the same characteristics of the cells located in different parts of a tree-ring was per-formed. The results show that the common external signal is mostly concentrated in the cambial zone and the direct influence of external factors on the formation of cells weakens. In terms of dendroclimatological applications the results of this paper provide methodologi-cal techniques for the extraction of the climate conditions influence on the cell anatomical characteristics. It can be used to reconstruct the climatic factors having a significant effect on wood formation.


E.A. Babushkina, Candidate of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor L.V. Belokopytova, Senior Research Officer

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Siberian Federal University, 79, Svobodny pr., Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russian Federation; e-mail:


larch, pine, spruce, xylem, tree-ring width, cell differentiation processes, cell radial size, cell wall thickness.


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Cambial Zone is the Main Target of External Factors Influence on the Conifers Tree-Ring Formation