Addressing the spatial gap of drought-sensitive tree-ring chronologies in southern Minnesota

Authors: Matthew Trumper*, University of Minnesota - Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology, Daniel Griffin, University of Minnesota - Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology, Whitney Delong, University of Minnesota - Master of Geographic Information Science , Kate Carlson, University of Minnesota - Department of Geography & Center for Dendrochronology
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Climatology and Meteorology, Physical Geography
Keywords: dendrochronology, drought, climate
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Hydroclimate extremes and rising temperatures associated with climate change are expected to exacerbate the severity of drought in the United States, and Minnesota will be no exception. Prior research demonstrates that regional tree-ring networks provide important context for understanding drought variability in the North American grain-belt region. However, the relative lack of climate-sensitive tree-ring chronologies produces a spatial gap in the Drought Atlas and limits our knowledge of historical hydroclimate variability in Minnesota. Several studies have assessed the dendroclimatic potential for tree rings in Minnesota but few have explored drought specifically outside of northern Minnesota. Here, we outline our group’s effort to address this spatial gap with a new network of carefully selected moisture-sensitive tree-ring chronologies. Our project developed new tree-ring data through sampling bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and red pine (Pinus resinosa) from pre-settlement old growth forest sites in Minnesota. We assess growth-climate response in both species using earlywood and latewood width. Preliminary results indicate a significant positive relationship in our bur oak with warm-season precipitation and several soil moisture indices. These results demonstrate clear potential for developing climate reconstructions to characterize past drought in terms of timing, duration, and severity. Our research provides encouragement for further expansion of tree-ring chronologies in the region and is an important step toward determining the extent to which current drought patterns in Minnesota are analogous to droughts in the pre-instrumental period.

Abstract Information

This abstract is already part of a session. View the session here.

To access contact information login