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Climate signal in tree-ring width chronologies of Pinus wallichiana from the Karakoram mountains in Northern Pakistan

Fayaz Asad, Haifeng Zhu, Eryuan Liang, Munawar Ali, Muhammad Hamayun, Shalik Ram Sigdel, Muhammad Khalid and Iqtidar Hussain

In the study area, Pinus wallichiana one of the most dominant species at upper timberline, reaching age up to 700-years old was selected for the dendroclimatological study in the Karakoram region, northern Pakistan. In this paper, we demonstrated the relationship between its radial growth and climatic factors using two standard chronologies of Pinus wallichiana. Tree-ring width site chronologies showed a strong positive response to temperature (p<0.05) and weak response to precipitation and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). We found a significant positive correlation with March-May, June-August, April-September of the current growth season, and previous year October to current year September (annual) temperature. These findings confirm that the Pinus wallichiana growth is mainly limited to temperature rather than precipitation and PDSI, and suggest that this species (Pinus wallichiana) is potential for the climate reconstruction in the study area.  

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