Annual Growth Bands in Hymenaea courbaril Page: 3 of 15
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Annual Growth Bands in Hymenaea courbaril
Jessica A. Westbrook
Department of Plant Biology
University of California, Davis
Thomas P. Guilderson
Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, LLNL
& Department of Ocean Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
Paul A. Colinvaux
Marine Biological Laboratories
Woods Hole MA
One significant source of annual temperature and precipitation data arises from
the regular annual secondary growth rings of trees. Several tropical tree species are
observed to form regular growth bands that may or may not form annually. Such growth
was observed in one stem disk of the tropical legume Hymenaea courbaril near the area
of David, Panama. In comparison to annual reference A14C values from wood and air, the
A14C values from the secondary growth rings formed by H. courbaril were determined to
be annual in nature in this one stem disk specimen. During this study, H. courbaril was
also observed to translocate recently produced photosynthate into older growth rings as
sapwood is converted to heartwood. This process alters the overall A14C values of these
transitional growth rings as cellulose with a higher A14C content is translocated into
growth rings with a relatively lower A14C content. Once the annual nature of these
growth rings is established, further stable isotope analyses on H. courbaril material in
other studies may help to complete gaps in the understanding of short and of long term
global climate patterns.
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Westbrook, J A; Guilderson, T P & Colinvaux, P A. Annual Growth Bands in Hymenaea courbaril, article, February 9, 2004; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888046/m1/3/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.