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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2097

Title: Potential of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) as a proxy climate archive
Authors: Robertson, I
Loader, NJ
Froyd, CA
Zambatis, N
Whyte, I
Woodborne, S
Keywords: Baobab
Adansonia digitata L
Proxy climate archive
Bomb radiocarbon curve
Tree rings
Issue Date: Oct-2006
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Citation: Robertson. I, et al. 2006. Potential of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) as a proxy climate archive. Applied Geochemistry, vol. 21(10), pp 1674-1680
Abstract: The large girth and immense size of the baobab has caused many to speculate about its age. Unfortunately reliable age estimates cannot be determined from growth rates as the girth varies in response to different moisture regimes. In a similar way, ages cannot be determined from ring-width measurements or X-ray densitometry as the absorbent nature of the soft fibrous wood and distortion upon drying prevent the application of these techniques. The Southern Hemisphere bomb radiocarbon curve was used to demonstrate that the rings of a recently-fallen baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) from Kruger National Park appear to be annual. The detrended C isotope values of finely-ground whole wood from another baobab specimen were found to be highly associated with January precipitation (r = 0.72; p < 0.01). This study demonstrates that high resolution information about past climates may be obtained by analysing the C isotope values from baobab samples even if distortion of ring-widths has occurred during drying. However, this relationship must be replicated before the baobab can be demonstrated to be a reliable palaeoclimatic proxy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2097
ISSN: 0883-2927
Appears in Collections:Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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