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Climatic signal in growth-rings of Copaifera lucens: An endemic species of a Brazilian Atlantic forest hotspot, southeastern Brazil

Fontana, Cláudia, Pérez-de-Lis, Gonzalo, Nabais, Cristina, Lousada, José Luís Penetra Cerveira, Olmedo, Gabriela Morais, Botosso, Paulo Cesar, Oliveira, Juliano Morales
Dendrochronologia 2018 v.50 pp. 23-32
Copaifera, autumn, climate, dendroclimatology, drought, evapotranspiration, growth rings, indigenous species, rain, summer, tree growth, trees, tropical forests, tropical plants, Brazil
In this study, we present the first tree-ring chronology for the tropical tree species Copaifera lucens and its climatic signal in southeastern Brazil. Tree-ring width series were compared with local climate indices using a drought index (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index —SPEI), in monthly, bi-monthly and four-monthly scales. We also calculated negative pointer years over the time-span of the tree-ring width. The radial growth of C. lucens showed a positive correlation with the SPEI of the current summer and autumn in all the three analyzed time scales, while the negative pointer years matched with drier years. The species was highly sensitive to very low summer precipitation, which may lead to a 49% reduction in growth. We conclude that the long-living C. lucens has a great potential for dendrochronological studies as it shows a marked climatic signal. Our study also reinforces the importance of rainfall in regulating radial growth in tropical forests and sheds light on the local climate influence on tree growth in recent decades.