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SFU scientists learned how to use the structure of a tree to determine how many droughts it endured

Scientists at the Siberian Federal University (SFU) have proved that particularities of annual tree rings contain information about climatic conditions under which the plant lived, including periods of insufficient humidity, informed Elena Babushkina, the director of the Khakass Technical Institute (a branch of the SFU) and a candidate of biological sciences, who took part in the research.
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«This is one of the pioneering studies in which a connection is established between the anatomical structure of wood and the meteorological conditions of the season of growth of the tree. It has been shown that in Khakassia, which is known for humidity deficits, sizes of the cells in different parts of the annual rings reflect the conditions of the season by months. Therefore, there is an actual possibility to reconstruct if there were deficits of hydration in June, July, or August in various years,» Babushkina said.

«Anatomical measurements are relatively time-consuming, and it now takes several months to obtain their rows, even for periods of just 40−50 years. But it can be said that continually increasing automation of measurements will eventually make it possible to quickly perform anatomical measurements for periods of hundreds of years in length. The only restriction that would remain would be the age of available trees, which differs in different regions,» Babushkina explained.

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