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Age of Himalayan cedar outside its natural home in the Himalayas

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 106, NO. 7, 10 APRIL 2014 932
(Lakiapollis ovatus) of Bombacaceae,
Ctenolophona (Ctenolophonidites costa-
tus) of Ctenolophonaceae, Cryptopoly-
porites cryptus, Polycolpites spp. and
Polygalacidites indicates freshwater
swampy conditions at the time of deposi-
tion. The absence of marine microfossils
like dinoflagellate and foraminiferal lin-
ings in the lignite indicates deposition in
distinctly terrestrial setting. The preva-
lence of humid tropical climatic condi-
tions and heavy rainfall
is indicated
by the record of high frequency of fungal
remains, especially epiphyllous fungi
Microthyriaceae from the sediments as
well as amber.
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to Prof. A. Sahni, Panjab University, Chandi-
garh for providing valuable suggestions. H.S.
thanks the Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of
Palaeobotany, Lucknow for field permission.
B.S. thanks the Head, PG Department of
Geology, RTMNU, Nagpur for support and
UGC-SAP-DRS-I for financial assistance. We
also thank Shri H. K . Joshi, General Manager
and the supporting staff at GMDC,
Tarkeshwar lignite mine, Gujarat for support
and cooperation during field investigation.
Received 16 September 2013; revised accep-
ted 5 February 2014
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany,
53, University Road,
Lucknow 226 007, India
PG Department of Geology,
RTM Nagpur University,
Nagpur 440 001, India
Institut de Science de la Terre et de
l`Environment (ISTE),
Lausanne University, Switzerland
*For correspondence.
Age of Himalayan cedar outside its natural home in the Himalayas
The Himalayan cedar popularly known
as deodar (Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G.
Don) is endemic to Hindu Kush, Kara-
koram and western Himalaya. Natural
distribution of this species in the western
Himalaya is restricted to areas receiving
winter snow and summer monsoon rain-
fall. With the decreasing amount of win-
ter snowfall from northwest to eastern
part of the Himalaya, the deodar gradu-
ally disappears in natural forests. In sci-
entific studies, Garhwal is taken as the
natural eastern limit of Himalayan cedar
in the western Himalaya
. But, excep-
tions to this also exist in the literature as
indigenous forests of Himalayan cedar
were reported in 1924 in Karnali Valley,
West Nepal
. However, Bhattacharyya
et al.
while studying tree core samples
of Himalayan cedar from Giri Gaon
(2945N and 8210E), Nepal, could
establish only 265 years (AD 1714–1978)
chronology. Atkinson
mentioned that
there is no natural grove of Himalayan
cedar in Kumaon, and these could have
been first planted in temple complexes.
According to his estimates
, numerous
plantations of Himalayan cedar around
temples in Kumaon aggregate ~800
acres. Though Himalayan cedar is known
to grow over thousand years in the west-
ern Himalayan region
, the age of planta-
tion trees in sacred groves around
temples in Kumaon is not known. In
Hindu mythology Himalayan cedar for
its grandeur appearance is treated as
sacred and the most preferred tree to be
planted in temple complexes. Whether
the age of Himalayan cedar plantations is
contemporaneous with the construction
of temples is not precisely known. Popu-
lar belief indicates that Himalayan cedar
was first introduced in Jageshwar temple
area in Kumaon, where it has almost
naturalized with good regeneration.
Though these sacred groves of Himala-
yan cedar in Kumaon region are still
patchy, they play a crucial role in main-
taining good floral and faunal diversity.
The Jageshwar temple, dedicated to
Lord Shiva, was built ~9–13th century
AD and plantation of Himalayan cedar
trees could have commenced after that.
To ascertain the date of plantation of
Himalayan cedar around temple com-
plexes, we surveyed and collected incre-
ment core samples from old-looking
CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 106, NO. 7, 10 APRIL 2014 933
Himalayan cedar trees in Jageshwar and
Gangolihat, Kumaon region in May 2013
(Figure 1). We noticed several gigantic
Himalayan cedar trees attaining ~9 m
girth around Jageshwar temple complex
(Figure 2), the age of which could extend
to several centuries. We collected incre-
ment cores from trees at breast height of
boles (~1.4 m) from directions perpen-
dicular to the slope. Usually two cores
were collected from old-looking trees
from two opposite sides of the boles. The
increment core samples were processed
and growth ring sequences dated using
standard dendrochronological tech-
. Very good coherence in growth
pattern of trees from both the sites as re-
vealed in COFECHA
(mean r = 0.62–
0.63) and TSAP
, and year-to-year simi-
larity in ring-width plots endorse the re-
liable dating of growth ring sequences.
We used established dendrochronologi-
cal procedures to develop tree-ring chro-
. The ring-width chronologies
of Himalayan cedar were prepared using
the program ARSTAN
. To select the
detrending method, ring-width measure-
ment plots of trees from different sites
were carefully studied. The ring-width
plots of tree samples from both the sites
revealed that the growth of Himalayan
cedar over the sampling sites is influ-
enced by stand dynamic features such as
changing competition due to gap forma-
tion. Therefore, to maximize the com-
mon signal among the samples, we
detrended the ring-width measurement
series using 100-yr cubic spline with a
50% frequency response function cut-
, except in few cases where 50-yr
spline was used. However, prior to
detrending the ring-width measurement
series were power-transformed to stabi-
lize variance in the heteroscedastic ring-
width measurement series
. The growth
trends were removed from the power-
transformed individual measurement
series by subtraction, which minimizes
the end fitting-type bias compared to the
ratios. In order to reduce the influence of
outliers, the detrended ring-width meas-
urement series of the respective tree
series were averaged to a mean chrono-
logy (standard) by computing the
biweight robust mean
. Another set of
chronologies was prepared where low-
order autocorrelation from detrended
series was removed using autoregressive
moving average (ARMA) modelling and
the resulting residual series averaged to a
mean site chronology by computing the
Figure 1. Location of tree-ring sampling sites in Kumaon Hima laya, Uttarakhand.
Figure 2. Jageshwar temple area with Himalayan cedar trees.
Figure 3. Tree-ring width chronologies of Himalayan cedar from Jageshwar (A D 1536–
and Gangolihat (AD 1668–2012) sites with the number of samples used in chronologies prepara-
CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 106, NO. 7, 10 APRIL 2014 934
Table 1. Chronology (standard) statistics of Himalayan cedar from two sites in Kumaon. Details of site locations are shown in Figure 1
Chronology with
Site Location Elevation (m) Core/tree SY EPS > 0.85 MI MS SD AR1
Gangolihat 2939N, 8001E 1760 38/27 1668 1720–2012 0.986 0.210 0.192 0.145
Jageshwar 2938N, 7951E 1851 41/37 1536 1690–2012 0.977 0.257 0.236 0.244
SY, Start year of the chronology; EPS, Expressed population signal; MI, Mean index; MS, Mean sensitivity; SD, Standard deviation; AR1, First-
order autocorrelation.
Figure 4. Correlation between the PC#1 of two site chronologies of Hima layan cedar and monthly precipitation as well as monthly mean
temperature of Mukteshwar (1901–1991). The dashed line represents 95% confidence level of correlations.
biweight robust mean
. The replication
of 12–15 tree samples in chronologies
from Jageshwar and Gangolihat respec-
tively, was found to be sufficient to
achieve expressed population signal
level of 0.85. The standard
version of two site chronologies along
with the number of samples used and sta-
tistics are shown in Figure 3 and Table 1
respectively. Significant correlation bet-
ween the above two site chronologies for
the common period 1720–2012 with EPS
level >0.85 (r = 0.75, P < 0.0001) sug-
gests common environmental forcing
affecting growth dynamics of trees over
the respective sites.
Dating of Himalayan cedar tree core
samples using dendrochronological
methods showed the oldest tree age of
477 years (AD 1536–2012) in Jageshwar.
Thus the age of the oldest tree recorded
by us extends back to the early 16th cen-
tury. Nonetheless, in Jageshwar forests
we also recorded several snag woods,
girth of which exceeded that of the sam-
pled trees (~9 m). This indicates that the
period of plantation of Himalayan cedar
around temple complexes could be even
earlier than the early 16th century. The
trees sampled from Gangolihat are rela-
tively younger to those in Jageshwar,
indicating that the plantation of Himala-
yan cedar could have started first in
Jageshwar temple area, which gradually
spread to other regions in Kumaon. The
ring-width chronology statistics such as
mean sensitivity (Table 1) and significant
correlation between two site chronolo-
gies is similar to other climate-responsive
Himalayan cedar chronologies developed
elsewhere in the western Himalayan
. To study the relationship be-
tween Himalayan cedar chronologies and
climate, we performed cross-correlation
analyses using climate data of Mukte-
shwar (2928N, 7938E, 2171 m amsl),
the longest available data close to tree-
ring sampling locations. The weather
data of Mukteshwar show that bulk of
precipitation (~73% of 1270 mm annual)
occurs during monsoon season spread
over June–September. The November–
May precipitation occurring largely due to
western disturbances is ~22% of the an-
nual precipitation. To understand tree
growth and climate relationship, climate
data spanning from September of the
previous growth year to current year
September were used in correlations with
the residual version of Himalayan cedar
chronologies. The chronologies from
both the sites showed similar relationship
with monthly climate variables. The first
principal component (PC#1) of two site
chronologies with eigen value 1.752
explaining 87.6% of the variance in com-
mon chronology period (AD 1720–2012)
showed the relationship with climate
variables (Figure 4) to be similar to that
observed with independent site chro-
nologies. In correlation analyses, the
precipitation from previous year Sep-
tember to current year May showed
direct relationship with tree growth indi-
ces. The correlations were consistently
positive and significant (P < 0.05) from
February to May. However, no significant
correlation was noted with precipitation
during monsoon months (June–September)
when precipitation is prevalent in the
region due to active southwest summer
monsoon. In case of temperature, nega-
tive relationship with mean monthly
temperature of Mukteshwar for most of
the months was noted, except during
summer monsoon months (July–
September), when it turned positive. The
correlation analyses revealed that a cool-
moist condition in premonsoon season is
important for the radial growth of Hima-
layan cedar in Kumaon region. We are
optimistic that such climate-responsive
chronologies developed from a close
CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 106, NO. 7, 10 APRIL 2014 935
network of sites in the Kumaon region
would help in developing long-term
records of premonsoon precipitation. In
earlier studies, network of such ring-
width chronologies from the western
Himalayan region have been useful in
developing long-term robust climate
We have developed annually resolved
ring-width chronology of Himalayan
cedar from groves in Jageshwar and Gan-
golihat temple complexes in Kumaon.
The chronology from Jageshwar temple
area extends back to AD 1536, whereas
Gangolihat to AD 1668. The Himalayan
cedar forests earlier claimed to be natural
in Karnali Valley, Nepal are much
younger than those in the Kumaon re-
gion. The sensitivity of ring-width chro-
nologies to premonsoon precipitation
underscores the utility of tree-ring data
in developing long-term precipitation re-
cords for the data-scarce Kumaon region.
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Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeo-
botany, Lucknow for encouragement and
Received 30 July 2013; revised accepted 26
February 2014
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany,
53 University Road,
Lucknow 226 007, India
Department of Geology,
Kumaon University,
Nainital 263 002, India
*For correspondence.
... According to the Koppen-Trewartha climate classification, the study sites have a 'Subtropical humid climate' (Belda et al., 2014). The Cedrus deodara, commonly known as deodar in Himalaya, is an endemic of Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Western Himalaya (Yadav et al., 2014). Previous studies mentioned that deodar had not grown naturally in the Kumaon division but was planted in the vicinity of temple complexes. ...
This research investigates the changes in rhizosphere soil (RS) properties in a chronosequence of the stand age of banj oak (Quercus leucotrichophora A. Campus) and deodar (Cedrus deodara D. Don) forests in the Kumaon Himalaya, India. Tree individuals of different girth classes (young, mature and old) were cored for tree age estimation using increment borer at breast height (1.37 m). Soil samples were collected in triplicate using a cubical section (15 × 15 × 15 cm) underneath the soil surface. Soil tightly adhered to the roots was brushed off on a paper bag and considered RS. Soil moisture content, pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) were analyzed. Two-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s post-hoc was used to test the significant difference among the stand age and between species. SOC and MBC increased significantly (p < 0.05) from juvenile to mature and declined in old age, while TN and MBN decreased from juvenile to old age. SOC/TN ratios increased from juvenile to mature stand age, suggesting that plants require more nitrogen for canopy growth in mature stand age. PCA results reflected a strong coupling between juvenile age and MBN/TN ratio, confirming the higher accumulation of nitrogen in the living biomass of microbes. However, MBC/SOC and MBN/TN decreased with the stand age, reflecting that during the initial phase of growth, the microbial community requires more C and N for ecosystem functioning and development. MBC/MBN ratio increased from juvenile to mature stand age, indicating the nitrogen-poor litter quality in mature and old stand age. Overall, forest stand ages can significantly impact RS properties and microbial biomass. These changes can have important implications for ecosystem function and services such as nutrient cycling, water regulation, and carbon sequestration.
... Moreover, the drought phases during 1762e1771 CE, 1782e1791 CE, and 1856e1865 CE recorded in a 275 years (1740e2014 CE) SPI8-May drought index reconstruction from Kishtwar, Kashmir corresponded with dry phases recorded in our reconstruction. The early 19th century summer drought has also been detected in other studies from the Nepal Himalayas (Panthi et al., 2017), southwestern China (Fan et al., 2008), western Indian Himalayas (Singh et al., 2009), and the Kumaon Himalayas, India (Yadav et al., 2014). Contrarily, a recent oxygen isotope based regional reconstruction of summer monsoon (JJA) precipitation in the SASM dominated Uttarakhand region (Shah et al., 2023) showed weaker summer monsoon precipitation during the 18th century than in the 19th and 20th century CE (Fig. 6). ...
The Kashmir region in the western Himalayas is located in a transition zone between areas dominated by the South Asian Summer Monsoon (SASM) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Currently being primarily influenced by westerly disturbances (WDs), the area is important to decipher teleconnections between these two important circulation systems for the assessment of past climate variability. We evaluated climate-growth relationships of Abies pindrow (Royle ex D. Don) and reconstructed April to June (AMJ) self-calibrated Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI) for the south Kashmir region during the period 1643e2016 CE. Our reconstructed scPDSI revealed a long wet phase during 1650e1816 CE, indicating the impact of the Little Ice Age (LIA) over the region, followed by prominent drier post-LIA episodes. The mid 18th century (1730e1760 CE) was the wettest period in the past four centuries, whereas the period 1817 to 1865 CE marked the driest phase. These phases are consistent with other precipitation reconstructions from the WD-dominated western and Trans-Himalayan regions, but inconsistant with summer precipitation reconstructions from the SASM-dominated Himalayan regions. A significant positive correlation between our scPDSI reconstruction and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) for the wet phase of the LIA suggests that the NAO remained dominant in modulating the winter and spring precipitation at the study region. During the 19th and 20th centuries, scPDSI was either weakly or negatively correlated with the NAO index, indicating the influence of other atmospheric circulation systems in driving the spring/summer precipitation in the study area. This study, augmented with other moisture records, contributes to analyze the temporal and spatial extent of moisture variability in a regional perspective.
... In contrast, the general belief that bryophytes shun coniferous trees, are known to support the growth of epiphytic bryophytes (Tewari and Pant 1994). Throughout the Kumaun region of Western Himalayas, natural Cedrus forests were not there earlier but later on planted and are now naturalized as mature forests (Atkinson 1882, Yadav et al. 2014. The pure stands of the coniferous forest have high biomass and soil carbon sequestration potential (Sheikh et al. 2021). ...
... Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D.Don) G.Don (also called the Deodar or Himalayan cedar) occurs in the western Himalaya (Yadav et al., 2014), while the other three species are found in the mountains of the Mediterranean region. Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) ...
Full-text available
Cedrus Trew (Pinaceae) includes four species, which are disjunctively distributed in the Mediterranean region and western Himalaya. Understanding the historical distribution of Cedrus and the driving factors can provide valuable information for the conservation of these species. In this study, we collected current distribution data and pollen fossil records for Cedrus. We used MaxEnt to simulate the distribution of Cedrus in the Mediterranean region and western Himalaya during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the middle Holocene (MH), present and future in response to different climate scenarios. Our simulation results indicate that winter precipitation is the key factor that determines the distribution of Cedrus, followed by winter temperature. The results also show that summer precipitation had a more important impact in the Mediterranean region than in the western Himalaya. The results indicate that climate change exerts a significant impact on the distribution of Cedrus in the Mediterranean, but not as much as in the western Himalaya. This could be attributed to the greater availability of microclimates (climate niche space) in the latter region. The availability of microclimates associated with the complex topography in the western Himalaya. The simulated results are generally consistent with fossil data. In the Mediterranean region, the suitability of the habitats for Cedrus decreased continuously from the LGM to the year 2070, with a distinct drop from the LGM to the MH. In the western Himalaya, the potential suitability of habitats for Cedrus increased from the LGM to the MH, but might fluctuate in the future. In general, this study identifies the key climate factors restricting the natural distribution of Cedrus. It shows that the distribution of Cedrus would be reduced in response to global climate change in the future, which indicates an urgent need for the protection and management of Cedrus populations.
... The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2013 report mentioned that the high-resolution multi-century long proxy climatic records provide valuable information to understand climate variability under the influence of anthropogenic impact (IPCC, 2013). The tree-ring inferred drought records have been largely used to understand spatiotemporal variability of droughts in different parts of the world (Cook et al., 2004Touchan et al., 2005Touchan et al., , 2008Touchan et al., , 2011Esper et al., 2007;Stahle et al., 2007Stahle et al., , 2013Woodhouse et al., 2010;Burnette and Stahle, 2013;Griffin and Anchukaitis, 2014) and from Indian subcontinent specially from the western Himalaya Sano et al., 2012;Yadav, 2013;Yadav et al., 2014aYadav et al., , 2014bYadav et al., , 2015Yadav et al., , 2017Singh et al., 2017). Similarly, from the north-western Himalaya few attempts were made to analyse the drought variability such as summer Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) extending back to AD 1820 was reconstructed using tree-ring chronologies of Picea smithiana and Abies pindrow from Pahalgam, Jammu & Kashmir (Ram, 2012). ...
Full-text available
Droughts in the orography dominated mid-to-high elevation Himalaya have serious impact on the agrarian economy and biodiversity of the region. Temporally and spatially limited weather records from the Himalaya restrict our understanding on the socioeconomic impact of droughts in long-term perspective. In view of this, high-resolution proxies are required to develop long-term drought records from the data scarce Himalayan region. To fill this void, we developed February–May (FMAM) 4-month standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI4-May), a metric of drought, extending back to AD 1773 using ring-width chronology of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don) from Chakrata region of Garhwal, Uttarakhand, the western Himalaya. The calibration model (1969–2016) captured 43% of the variance in the observed SPEI series. The SPEI reconstruction revealed high year-to-year and inter-decadal variation with 1774 (SPEI -3.11) and 1787 (SPEI +2.13) being the driest and the wettest years, respectively. The five year mean of reconstructed SPEI revealed droughts in 1818–1822, 1798–1802, 1813–1817, 1793–1797, 1958–1962 and pluvials in 1783–1787, 1838–1842, 1788–1792, 1933–1937, 1808–1812. A comparison of present SPEI reconstruction with other available tree-ring based precipitation and drought records from the western Himalayan region revealed synoptic scale features represented in our data. The findings underscore that a wide network of such large tree-ring based drought records from the data scarce Himalayan region should be very useful to understand the spatial distribution of droughts.
... Such sacred sites serve for managing natural resources and conserving ecosystems through religious rules (Oviedo and Jeanrenaud 2007;Dudley et al. 2009). Therefore their age may provide additional information about the period when the settlement or temple complexes were founded and inhabited (Yadav et al. 2014). ...
We are reporting the first dendrochronological dating of timber from Tajikistan. Thirty samples were collected from two old buildings from a village located in the western Pamir-Alay; eight cores were taken from temple. Most of the construction wood was juniper species. The object chronologies crossdated well with the previously published chronology based on living juniper trees from western Pamir-Alay. The results of dating revealed that investigated structures are composed of wood coming from several periods. The oldest pieces of wood dated back to the 11th and 12th Centuries. Most timber samples come from the turn of the 17th and 18th Centuries, which were probably the period of intense development of the Artuch village. Besides dating of the wood samples from these historic structures, our investigation provides the opportunity to extend the currently existing regional tree-ring chronology for future climate reconstruction of the Pamir-Alay and High Asia. Dated sequences were assembled into a 1012-year chronology spanning the period 945–2014 C.E. and strengthened the replication of its earliest part (with critical 0.85 EPS value since the beginning of the 13th Century).
... This requires use of archives, e.g., speleothems and tree ring chronology which provide annual to decadal scale climatic changes. Very recently, however, some efforts in this direction have been made in the Central Himalaya (Kotlia et al., 2012Sanwal et al., 2013;Yadav et al., 2014aYadav et al., ,b, 2015Liang et al., 2015). ...
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Although the variations in δ18O and δ13C and the U/Th dating in the speleothems are considered as key proxies, improved dating with better quality resolution as well as composition of stalagmites and growth rate along with the cave monitoring are equally important for understanding the high resolution precipitation variability in the past. With a total of six dates on a 11.5 cm long stalagmite, we re-interpret the decadal to century scale climatic changes with multi-year droughts from the Indian Central Himalaya between ca. 1622 and 1950 AD. The sample is composed of aragonite (both compact sub-layers and porous sub-layers). Although, the age model of this young speleothem may be within age uncertainty owing to the high 230Th/232Th isotope ratios, yet the distinction of this study lies in recording various historical drought events which are otherwise never reported from the Himalayan foothills. Additionally, the sample consists of reasonable amount of U (>2 ppm), thus the age correction requirement may be minimum. The higher growth rate and comparatively lower values of δ18O and δ13C are observed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) until ca. 1820 AD, indicating its being wet in the Himalayan foothills in contrast to the Peninsular India and other regions which are solely influenced by the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). This is mainly because the monsoon trough moves from the plains to the Himalayan foothills during break-monsoon conditions and provides more orographic precipitation in form of the Westerlies in the south facing Himalayan slopes. The post-LIA period from ca. 1820 AD onwards is interpreted as comparatively drier than the LIA.
... A number of most recent studies on the stalagmite inferred climatic changes and reconstruction of precipitation using tree ring data (Yadav et al., 2014a(Yadav et al., ,b, 2015 in the Kumaun Himalaya have opened new opportunity to study the annual to decadal scale climatic changes during the Holocene. In addition, the sediment profiles from Ganga Plain have also been studied. ...
... The analyses performed to understand relationship between tree-ring chronologies and climate variables in association with the similar studies performed earlier ( Yadav et al., 2014a, b) suggest that the precipitation changes in premonsoon season are very important for the radial growth of Himalayan cedar trees over moisture stressed sites in the western Himalaya. In view of this we studied relationship between PC#1 of the residual chronologies of Himalayan cedar and SPI calculated for different timescales from one to nine months. ...
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Lakiapollis ovatus) of Bombacaceae, Ctenolophona (Ctenolophonidites costa-tus) of Ctenolophonaceae, Cryptopoly-porites cryptus, Polycolpites spp. and Polygalacidites indicates freshwater swampy conditions at the time of deposi-tion. The absence of marine microfossils like dinoflagellate and foraminiferal linings in the lignite indicates deposition in distinctly terrestrial setting. The prevalence of humid tropical climatic conditions and heavy rainfall 21–23 is indicated by the record of high frequency of fungal remains, especially epiphyllous fungi Microthyriaceae from the sediments as well as amber.
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We analysed 565 increment cores from 325 Himalayan cedar [Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don] trees growing at 13 moisture-stressed, widely distributed sites in the western Himalayan region. We found a strong positive relationship between our tree-ring width chronologies and spring precipitation which enabled us to reconstruct precipitation back to a.d. 1560. This reconstruction is so far the longest in this region. The calibration model explains 40% variance in the instrumental data (1953–1997). The most striking feature of the reconstruction is the unprecedented increase in precipitation during the late twentieth century relative to the past 438 years. Both wet and dry springs occurred during the Little Ice Age. A 10-year running mean showed that the driest period occurred in the seventeenth century while the wettest period occurred in the twentieth century. Spectral analysis of the reconstructed series indicated a dominant 2-year periodicity.
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In a number of areas of applied climatology, time series are either averaged to enhance a common underlying signal or combined to produce area averages. How well, then, does the average of a finite number (N) of time series represent the population average, and how well will a subset of series represent the N-series average. We have answered these questions by deriving formulas for 1) the correlation coefficient between the average of N time series and the average of n such series (where n is an arbitrary subset of N) and 2) the correlation between the N-series average and the population. We refer to these mean correlations as the subsammple signal strength (SSS) and the expressed population signal (EPS). They may be expressed in terms of the mean interseries correlation coefficient r-barm as SSS = (R-bar/sub n/,N)/sup 2/roughly-equaln(1+(N-1)r-bar)/N(1+(n+1)r-bar), EPS = (R-bar/sub N/)/sup 2/roughly-equalNr-bar/1+(N-1)r-bar. Similar formulas are given relating these mean correlations to the fractional common variance which arises as a parameter in analysis of variance. These results are applied to determine the increased uncertainty in a tree-ring chronology which results when the number of cores used to produce the chronology is reduced. Such uncertainty will accrue to any climate reconstruction equation that is calibrated using the most recent part of the chronology. The method presented can be used to define the useful length of tree-ring chronologies for climate reconstruction work.
[1] The paucity of available instrumental climate records in cold and arid regions of the western Himalaya, India, hampers our understanding of the long-term variability of regional droughts, which seriously affect the agrarian economy of the region. Using ring width chronologies of Cedrus deodara and Pinus gerardiana together from a network of moisture-stressed sites, Palmer Drought Severity Index values for October–May back to 1310 A.D. were developed. The twentieth century features dominant decadal-scale pluvial phases (1981–1995, 1952–1968, and 1918–1934) as compared to the severe droughts in the early seventeenth century (1617–1640) as well as late fifteenth to early sixteenth (1491–1526) centuries. The drought anomalies are positively (negatively) associated with central Pacific (Indo-Pacific Warm Pool) sea surface temperature anomalies. However, non-stationarity in such relationships appears to be the major riddle in the predictability of long-term droughts much needed for the sustainable development of the ecologically sensitive region of the Himalayas.
Spring precipitation, representative of regional-scale features, was reconstructed since A.D. 1731 using 15 site ring width chronologies of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex Lambert) G. Don), prepared from distantly located moisture-stressed sites in the western Himalayan region. This is so far the strongest tree-ring-based precipitation reconstruction in terms of variance explained in the calibration model (A.D. 1897–1986) from the western Himalayan region. The twentieth century experienced the driest and wettest years in the whole reconstructed series. The 10- and 20-year means also indicate extreme precipitation periods in the twentieth century. The increasing precipitation trend noticed in the reconstructed data of the late twentieth century closely matches with instrumental data.
Tree-ring anlaysis of Cedrus deodara from three different sites of western Himalaya has been carried out. The chronologies include 47 cores (26 trees) from Manali, 33 cores (18 trees) from Kufri (Shimla) and 25 cores (13 trees) from Kanasar forest sites. Moderately high values of common variance exhibited by all three chronologies indicate the great potential of the species for dendroclimatic studies.Response function and correlation analyses using the above tree-ring-width data and Shimla climate show a significant negative relationship with summer temperature and positive relationship with summer precipitation. Based on these results, calibration equations have been developed for different periods, and appropriately verified using independent data, to reconstruct the summer (March–April–May) temperature at Shimla. The reconstruction has extended the temperature record of the region back to the eighteenth century.
We report here a 1198 -year long (AD 805-2002) ring- width chronology of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) from a site in Bhaironghati, Garhwal, Uttaranchal. This provides the longest record of ring -width chrono- logy prepared so far using living tree samples from the Himalayan region. The forest from which the con- stituent samples were derived is a natural stand of mixed age. Many of the trees are several centuries old, with average age reaching 532 years. The ring-width chronology shows strong indirect relationship with mean monthly temperature from February to May. Strong temperature signal present in the series shows the potential of such long-term chronologies in deve l- oping climatic reconstructions useful for evaluating the recent climatic changes under the background in- fluence of increasing concentration of greenhouse gases.