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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2017 Oct 15;31(19):1589-1598. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7938.

Warm season precipitation signal in δ2 H values of wood lignin methoxyl groups from high elevation larch trees in Switzerland.

Author information

1
Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 21, 55128, Mainz, Germany.
2
Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 21, 55128, Mainz, Germany.
3
Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 236, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany.
4
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128, Mainz, Germany.
5
Paul Scherrer Institute, OFLA/109, 5232 Villingen, Switzerland.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

In this study, we tested stable hydrogen isotope ratios of wood lignin methoxyl groups (δ2 Hmethoxyl values) as a palaeoclimate proxy in dendrochronology. This is a quite new method in the field of dendrochronology and the sample preparation is much simpler than the methods used before to measure δ2 H values from wood.

METHODS:

We measured δ2 Hmethoxyl values in high elevation larch trees (Larix decidua Mill.) from Simplon Valley (southern Switzerland). Thirty-seven larch trees were sampled and five individuals analysed for their δ2 Hmethoxyl values at annual (1971-2009) and pentadal resolution (1746-2009). The δ2 Hmethoxyl values were measured as CH3 I released upon treatment of the dried wood samples with hydroiodic acid. 10-90 μL from the head-space were injected into the gas chromatography/high-temperature conversion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/HTC-IRMS) system.

RESULTS:

Testing the climate response of the δ2 Hmethoxyl values, the annually resolved series show a positive correlation of r = 0.60 with June/July precipitation. The pentadally resolved δ2 Hmethoxyl series do not show any significant correlation to climate parameters.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased precipitation during June and July, which are on average warm and relatively dry months, results in higher δ2 H values of the xylem water and, therefore, higher δ2 H values in the lignin methoxyl groups. Therefore, we suggest that δ2 Hmethoxyl values of high elevation larch trees might serve as a summer precipitation proxy.

PMID:
28696517
DOI:
10.1002/rcm.7938
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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