The use and Limitations of Dendrochronology in Studying Effects of Air Pollution on Forests

  • E. R. Cook
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 16)


The annual ringwidths of trees can be used to search for hypothesized air pollution effects on forests. This search is extremenly complicated by the inherent statistical properties of ringwidth data and the high level of uncertainty regarding the sources of variance observed in the ringwidths. A linear aggregate model for ringwidths which highlights the general classes of variance that may be found in a tree-ring series is described. Dendrochronological principles and techniques that can be used to create a tree-ring chronology that is suitable for rigorous statistical analysis and hypothesis testing are described. An analysis of a red spruce tree-ring chronology indicates that a decline in ringwidths since 1968 cannot be explained by a linear temperature response model.


Tree Ring Radial Growth Pollution Effect Exogenous Disturbance Pollution Signal 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. R. Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Tree-Ring LaboratoryLamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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