The key difference between dendrochronology and dendroclimatology is that dendrochronology is the study of annual growth rings of trees, while dendroclimatology is the study of the relationships between annual growth rings of trees and past climate conditions or variations
Trees show annual growth rings. These tree rings show a relationship with climatic factors. Therefore, they are important in reconstructing climatic conditions and past climatic variability. In fact, tree rings are well suited for climatic analysis since they show reliable dating, annual resolution, ample replication, longevity up to thousands of years, widespread representation, and sensitivity to climatic conditions.
Dendrochronology and dendroclimatology are two disciplines in science that utilize annual growth rings of timber and tree trunks. Dendrochronology is the study that uses the characteristic growth patterns of tree rings in timber and tree trunks. Dendroclimatology is a sub-discipline that utilizes tree rings in order to reconstruct and analyze past climate variability.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Dendrochronology
3. What is Dendroclimatology
4. Similarities Between Dendrochronology and Dendroclimatology
5. Side by Side Comparison – Dendrochronology vs Dendroclimatology in Tabular Form
What is Dendrochronology?
Dendrochronology is the dating and study of annual rings of trees and the past environmental conditions reflected by the patterns of growth rings. In dendrochronology, the exact year of the formation of each growth ring is studied. Moreover, scientists have noticed that there is a relationship between the size of the growth rings and climate factors such as moisture and elevation. Therefore, the climate and atmospheric conditions during different periods in history can be determined by growth rings.
New rings form near the bark. Generally, each tree ring indicates a year or a complete cycle of seasons. Thus, the entire period of a tree’s life is reflected by growth rings. Moreover, the thickness and shape of rings show conditions under which they have grown. Hence, the study of tree rings reveals important information regarding the climate and environmental conditions.
What is Dendroclimatology?
Dendroclimatology is a subfield of dendrochronology that utilizes the properties of the annual tree rings to determine past climates. In other words, dendroclimatology uses dated and annually resolved growth rings of trees to reconstruct and analyze past climatic variations. Generally, when environmental conditions are favourable, tree rings become wider. They become narrower when the conditions are not favourable. Moreover, total ring width, earlywood/latewood, wood density of rings are also taken into consideration in dendroclimatology.
Besides, the annual growth of trees may be affected by microclimate: sunshine, precipitation, temperature, wind speed, and humidity. Moreover, the light-coloured rings represent woods grown in the spring and early summer while the dark rings represent woods grown the late summer and fall. Scientists have estimated the local climates for many years using tree rings. Furthermore, they have even estimated the past regional and global climates using the information of multiple tree ring studies. The crucial steps of dendroclimatology are the site selection and accurate dating of each tree ring to its year of formation.
What are the Similarities Between Dendrochronology and Dendroclimatology?
- Dendroclimatology is a branch of dendrochronology.
- Both fields utilize annual growth rings of trees and timber.
- They are useful to determine past climatic variations.
- Moreover, the age of the tree can be determined in these studies.
What is the Difference Between Dendrochronology and Dendroclimatology?
Dendrochronology is the study of annual growth rings of trees while dendroclimatology is the use of annual growth tree rings to determine past climatic variations. Therefore, the key difference between dendrochronology and dendroclimatology is that dendrochronology studies annual growth rings of trees, while dendroclimatology studies the relationships between annual growth rings of trees and past climate conditions or variations.
Summary – Dendrochronology vs Dendroclimatology
In summarizing the difference between dendrochronology and dendroclimatology, dendrochronology is the study of annual growth rings of trees while dendroclimatology is the study of the relationships between annual growth rings of trees and past climate conditions or variations. Therefore, dendroclimatology can be used to reconstruct some information about past environmental conditions since trees are sensitive to climate changes or conditions.