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Can riparian eucalypts be used for hydroclimatic reconstruction? The case for Eucalyptus coolabah to define palaeo-flood events


Gillen, J and Costelloe, JF and Allen, KJ and Fallon, SJ and Peel, MC and Stewardson, M and Nathan, R, Can riparian eucalypts be used for hydroclimatic reconstruction? The case for Eucalyptus coolabah to define palaeo-flood events, Journal of Arid Environments, 184 Article 104301. ISSN 0140-1963 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104301


In the Australian semi-aridľarid zone, hydrological records are typically only 40ľ60 years long, prohibiting an understanding of long-term hydrological variability. Kati-Thanda ľ Lake Eyre Basin (KT-LEB), is the fifth largest terminal lake in the world, experiences highly variable flows and supports myriad flora and fauna. The opportunistic and highly irregular growth of trees in KT-LEB means that tree-ring records have not been developed in the region. E. coolabah is a keystone species in the KT-LEB and can live for more than 300 years. In this study, we find that trees in the riparian zone exhibit larger and more diffuse vessels compared to trees on the flood plain. 14C dating indicates that clear temporal variations in vessel size and density are synchronous across trees at the same site and consistent with changes in hydrological conditions recorded in instrumental records. More diffuse and larger vessels in the floodplain trees are congruous with wetter events, while bands of wood with smaller and denser vessels co-occur with drier conditions. These results suggest the species has potential as a high-resolution, albeit not annual, palaeohydrological indicator in the semi aridľarid zone - potentially a major step forward in deriving palaeohydrological tree-ring records for this region.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Eucalyptus coolabah, Kati Thanda, Lake Eyre basin, 14C, vessels
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Palaeoclimatology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Allen, KJ (Dr Kathy Allen)
ID Code:142733
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2021-02-09
Last Modified:2022-08-24

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