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Title Climate reconstruction using climate–growth relationships of tropical tree species in West Africa

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Short title Climate reconstruction in West Africa

Author(s) Orthmann, B.(1); Schöngart, J.(2); Hennenberg, K.J.(1); Worbes, M.(3); Sinsin, B.(4); Porembski, S.(1)

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Institution(s) (1) Institute of Biosciences/Botany, University of Rostock; (2) Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology, Plön; (3) Institute of Agronomy in the Tropics, University of Göttingen; (4) Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey-Calavi/Cotonou

Keywords dendrochronology, dendroclimatic proxy, ENSO, sea surface temperature, tree rings

Abstract Most tropical regions are facing historical difficulties of generating biologically reconstructed long-term climate records. Dendrochronology (tree-ring studies) is a powerful tool to develop proxies for climate reconstruction. In the central-western part of Benin (upper Ouémé catchment, UOC) and in northeastern Côte d’Ivoire (Comoé National Park) we investigated the relationship between climate (precipitation, sea surface temperature (SST)) and tree rings. All six sampled tree species (almost 200 individuals) showed significant relationships with annual precipitation proving the existence of annual tree rings. Our findings accurately show the relationship between tree growth, local precipitation and SST anomalies in the Gulf of Guinea possibly associated with worldwide SST patterns. A master chronology enabled reconstruction of annual precipitation in the UOC to the year 1840. Time series analysis suggest increasing arid conditions during the last 160 years which may have large impacts on hydrological cycles, ecosystem dynamics and socioeconomic cultures and sectors in the Guineo-Congolian/Sudanian region.

Congress Topic Process Analysis

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