Title

The Sensitivity of Tree Rings to ENSO and Climatic Variables in Coastal Alabama

Advisor

Rodgers, John C., III

Committee Member

Wax, Charles

Committee Member

Mylroie, John

Date of Degree

1-1-2003

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of ENSO on annual growth rings of pine trees in coastal Alabama. Tree cores from 28 pines were collected in Mobile County and Baldwin County Alabama, and the ring widths of these cores were measured to the nearest 0.001 mm. Tree ring widths were then cross-dated and standardized using standard procedures. The standardized ring width (SRI) was examined to determine if years of strong ENSO activity were evident. Additionally, SRI values were correlated with other climate variables, including temperature, precipitation, and drought. It appears that strong ENSO episodes are not clearly evident in the tree ring record. Additionally, the climate variables showed inconsistent relationships with SRI. It is possible that a positive annual water balance limits the influences of ENSO on tree ring widths. Furthermore, it is suggested that differences in localized tree environments and mesoscale sea-breeze thunderstorms may obscure the impacts of climatic variables.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/21255

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