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Stable isotopes in tropical tree rings: Theory, methods and applications

Recently, a large number of studies has analyzed the natural abundance of stable isotopes in tropical tree rings. The rapid developments in this young field call for a review. Thus, the present study focuses on stable isotopes of carbon (13C), oxygen (18O) and nitrogen (15N). The involved researchers start by explaining how environmental and physiological effects define the isotopic composition of wood in tropical trees: Abundance of 13C is mainly driven by water, light and nutrient availability. 18O values are chiefly determined by those of rainwater and additionally by rooting depth and factors determining leaf water evaporation. 15N levels are determined by the 15N signature of nitrogen uptake, which in turn depends in complex ways on various processes in the nitrogen cycle. Furthermore, the study discusses methodological aspects of isotopes studies in tropical tree rings. [accessed Jan 12 2018].

  • Pieter A Zuidema Thijs L Pons Peter van der Sleen
  • Functional Ecology
  • 2017