Author : Wood, L.J. Date : 2012. Title : Wood fibre properties and their application to tree-ring studies in British Columbia. Publication : Unpublished PhD dissertation. University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia Issue : Page(s) : 219 p.
Examination of the relationship between wood properties such as density, cell diameters and climate provides the opportunity to develop long-term climate and mass balance proxies, and is a key component to understanding when and how wood develops through time. This research sought to: create multi-proxy models to represent long-term changes in the climate-mass balance relationships at Place Glacier, and to describe glaciological changes in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, British Columbia; use multiple wood properties to develop intra-annual climate records for tree-ring sites from the southern and northern interior regions of British Columbia; and, use climate as an indicator of wood quality by identifying historical climate impacts on wood development over time. Tree-ring samples from hybrid interior spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss x engelmannii (Parry)) and Douglas-fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) were collected in north-central British Columbia; interior spruce, Douglas-fir, and subalpine fir ( Abies lasiocarpa (Hooker) Nuttall) were collected from trees in the Pemberton area of British Columbia, and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex. Engelmann), subalpine fir, and mountain hemlock ( Tsuga mertensiana Bongard Carrière) were collected from trees located within Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke National Parks. Tree-ring chronologies were constructed using standard ring width measurement techniques, densitometric methodologies, and using SilviScan technology. Relationships among the regional climate, snowpack, mass balance and various wood chronologies were identified and used as a basis for reconstructing proxy climate and mass balance data. A proxy snowpack record for Tatlayoko Lake was reconstructed using mean density and ring width chronologies. Maximum density and ring width chronologies were used to reconstruct winter and summer mass balance records for Place Glacier. Place Glacier was found to respond negatively to continental summer temperature regimes and positively to winter coastal precipitation events. A proxy record of maximum summer temperature was reconstructed for Revelstoke using maximum density and ring width chronologies; while maximum cell-wall thickness was used to reconstruct total August precipitation, and February snowpack from Golden was reconstructed from subalpine fir and mountain hemlock ring-width chronologies. Mass balance for glaciers in the Columbia Mountains was reconstructed using a combination of ring width, maximum density and maximum cell-wall thickness chronologies. The proxy mass balance reconstruction shows a general decline in ice mass over the time span of the net balance reconstruction. Two intra-annual proxy climate records were created for northern British Columbia. Mean June and mean July-August temperature chronologies were reconstructed for Smithers using ring width and maximum density, and for Fort St. James total May-June and July-August precipitation records were reconstructed using ring width, minimum density, and maximum cell-wall thickness. Wood parameters, including density, cell-wall thickness, microfibril angle, and cell diameter in Douglas-fir and interior spruce were reconstructed at five sites across British Columbia using temperature and precipitation data from local climate stations. Maximum cell-wall thickness was shown to be one of the most robust wood parameters to predict using temperature variables. Using a variety of tree-ring characteristics for time series reconstruction provides an opportunity to create multivariate models with greater predictive capabilities that correspond more closely to observed data sets, thereby allowing dendroclimatologists to predict climate data trends more robustly. Because individual wood parameters form at different times throughout the growing season in response to distinct seasonal climates, multiple proxy models allow for the development of intra-annual proxy climate and glaciological records.