, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 227–242 | Cite as

Pine and larch tracheids capture seasonal variations of climatic signal at moisture-limited sites

  • Liliana V. Belokopytova
  • Elena A. BabushkinaEmail author
  • Dina F. Zhirnova
  • Irina P. Panyushkina
  • Eugene A. Vaganov
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Drought Stress


Key message

Although the radial diameter and wall thickness of conifer tracheids from dry environments are climatic-sensitive across the full ring area, each cell parameter has a specific zone in a ring where its climatic response reaches the maximum.


Seasonal dynamics of the timing and rate in cell production and differentiation imprint climate signals into intra-ring variations of anatomical wood structure (e.g. intra-annual density fluctuations). Despite recent methodological advances in quantitative wood anatomy, our understanding of xylem response to climate at the finest scale of intra-ring resolution is incomplete. The goal of this study is to investigate intra-ring changes of tracheid dimensions (cell radial diameter and wall thickness) controlled by moisture stress. Anatomical wood parameters of Pinus sylvestris and Larix sibirica from two drought-susceptible locations in Khakassia, South Siberia, were analysed. We found that inter-annual variation of tracheid parameters regularly exceeds the variation between radial tracheid files. This suggests that the climatic signal is recorded throughout the entire ring. However, each cell parameter has a specific zone in the ring where its climatic response reaches the maximum. The climatic response of the radial cell diameter has a temporal shift across the ring, which is particularly apparent in pine rings. The climatic response of cell wall thickness at the intra-ring scale has a more complex pattern. Our results facilitate investigation of the climate impact on tree rings at the finest intra-ring scale by quantifying the timing of climatic impact on ring structure and identifying specifically when climate impacts the formation of a particular cell.


Conifer trees Xylem Quantitative wood anatomy Tree-ring structure Climatic response South Siberia 



This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 17-04-00315). Collaborative activities of I. Panyushkina were sponsored by the CRDF-Global project #FSCX-18-63880-0. We would like to thank Prof. S.W. Leavitt (University of Arizona) for proofreading of the manuscript. We are grateful to editor and reviewers for their helpful comments.

Author contributions

EAV designed the study with input from EAB. DFZ supervised fieldwork and measurements. LVB performed statistical analysis and prepared figures. All authors contributed to discussion of results and writing the manuscript. LVB and IP wrote the English version of manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

468_2018_1772_MOESM1_ESM.docx (330 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 330 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Khakass Technical InstituteSiberian Federal UniversityAbakanRussia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Tree-Ring ResearchUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Siberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia
  4. 4.V. N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, SB RASKrasnoyarskRussia

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