Fax: (709) 864- 3119
Drs. Colin Laroque and Trevor Bell
Dendrochronology in Eastern Labrador
My research is based on the science of dendrochronology; the
study of tree rings over time. Simply put, by measuring the width
between the annual rings of a tree you can establish the amount of
growth in a given year. The growth is directly related to the
environmental conditions the tree was subjected to throughout that
year. Thus dominant physiological processes such as climate can be
shown to be directly correlated to the size of each ring.
With global climate change becoming such a universally accepted issue the need for understanding past climate systems on a broader scale is becoming more and more crucial. By sampling spruce, fir and larch in a southern costal Labrador grid, I will establish radial growth chronologies for trees of this region. These radial growth patterns will then be linked to climate parameters over the historical period, and in so, I will be able to develop proxy climate data over the established grid. In order to more fully understand the effects of climate changes present within the grid, I hope to correlate these proxy data to such things as ocean surface temperatures across the North Atlantic.
In conjunction with the Mount Allison Dendrochronology Lab (MAD Lab) the results can then be compared to similar research conducted in adjacent regions and around Atlantic Canada. This will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the effects between radial-growth and past climates on costal areas of Labrador.
Figure 1: Sampling of a tree for dendrochronology