Delta blue intensity vs. maximum density: a case study using Pinus uncinata in the Pyrenees

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We explore the potential of the delta blue intensity (DBI) parameter as a proxy of past summer temperatures using a well replicated (85 trees) chronology of Pinus uncinata from upper treeline in the Spanish Pyrenees. Principal component analysis, correlation response function analysis and Superposed Epoch Analysis show definitively that the DBI data are indistinguishable to other MXD datasets in the region and that DBI expresses a similarly “pure” time-stable climate signal as MXD when compared to their RW counterparts. Calibration r2 values > 0.5 are attainable depending on period used. The signal strength of DBI data is weaker than MXD and behave more like RW data with ca. 19 trees being needed to attain an EPS value > 0.85. However, as the generation of DBI data is cheaper than MXD, this limitation is not deemed to be a serious issue. This pilot study suggests that robust reconstructions of past summer temperatures could be gained using DBI data at a much-reduced cost than relying on MXD. Future dendroclimatic efforts in the region therefore should focus on the measurement of this parameter and the expansion of the pinus ring-density network.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125706
Early online date12 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Delta blue intensity
  • Pyrenees
  • Pinus uncinata
  • Summer temperatures


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