Seasonal divergence between soil water availability and atmospheric moisture recorded in intra-annual tree-ring δ18O extremes

Guobao Xu, Xiaohong Liu, Weizhen Sun, Paul Szejner, Xiaomin Zeng, Kei Yoshimura, Valerie Trouet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intra-annual variability of tree-ring oxygen stable isotopes (δ18O) can record seasonal climate variability and a tree's ecophysiological response to it. Variability of sub-annual tree-ring δ18O maxima and minima, which usually occur in different parts of the growing season, may exhibit different climatic signals and can help in understanding past seasonal moisture conditions, especially in Asian monsoon areas. We developed minimum and maximum tree-ring δ18O series based on sub-annual tree-ring δ18O measurements of Pinus massoniana at a humid site in southeastern China. We found that interannual variability in minimum tree-ring δ18O is primarily controlled by the July-September soil water supply and source water δ18O, whereas the maximum latewood tree-ring δ18O is primarily controlled by the relative humidity (RH) in October. The maximum of variability of earlywood tree-ring δ18O records the RH of October of the previous year. We used minimum and maximum tree-ring δ18O to develop two reconstructions (1900-2014) of seasonal moisture availability. The summer soil water supply (July-September self-calibrated Palmer drought severity index) and the RH in fall show contrasting trends, which may be related to late-growing seasonal warming leading to a high vapor capacity and high atmospheric moisture. Our findings are valuable for research that aims to explore seasonal moisture changes under anthropogenic climate change and the ecological implications of such contrasting trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094036
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • High-resolution dendroisotopes
  • Maximum and minimum
  • Relative humidity
  • Source water
  • Tree-ring oxygen isotope
  • Water availability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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