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Climatic signals in tree rings of Heritiera fomes Buch.-Ham. in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Chowdhury, M.Q.; De Ridder, M.; Beeckman, H. (2016). Climatic signals in tree rings of Heritiera fomes Buch.-Ham. in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. PLoS One 11(2): e0149788.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Chowdhury, M.Q., more
  • De Ridder, M., more
  • Beeckman, H., more

    Mangroves occur along the coastlines throughout the tropics and sub-tropics, supporting a wide variety of resources and services. In order to understand the responses of future climate change on this ecosystem, we need to know how mangrove species have responded to climate changes in the recent past. This study aims at exploring the climatic influences on the radial growth of Heritiera fomes from a local to global scale. A total of 40 stem discs were collected at breast height position from two different zones with contrasting salinity in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. All specimens showed distinct tree rings and most of the trees (70%) could be visually and statistically crossdated. Successful crossdating enabled the development of two zone-specific chronologies. The mean radial increment was significantly higher at low salinity (eastern) zone compared to higher salinity (western) zone. The two zone-specific chronologies synchronized significantly, allowing for the construction of a regional chronology. The annual and monsoon precipitation mainly influence the tree growth of H. fomes. The growth response to local precipitation is similar in both zones except June and November in the western zone, while the significant influence is lacking. The large-scale climatic drivers such as sea surface temperature (SST) of equatorial Pacific and Indian Ocean as well as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) revealed no teleconnection with tree growth. The tree rings of this species are thus an indicator for monsoon precipitation variations in Bangladesh. The wider distribution of this species from the South to South East Asian coast presents an outstanding opportunity for developing a large-scale tree-ring network of mangroves.

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