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XELLCLIM - Benchmarking xylem cell anatomy for tree-ring based climate reconstructions


Tree rings are one of the most powerful data sources for reconstructing climate variability of recent millennia. Currently, the primary tree-ring parameters for that purpose are tree-ring width and maximum latewood density. Among the challenges when using these parameters is the distinction of climate-induced variability from non-climatic variability. Furthermore, unresolved inconsistencies between tree-ring based reconstructions and simulations by general circulation models limit confidence in model estimates of future climate change. XELLCLIM assesses the potential of xylem cell anatomy to mitigate the above issues. Xylem cell anatomy has unprecedentedly high temporal resolution, and its biological foundations and functional links are comparably well understood. The results will contribute to assess uncertainties of existing tree-ring based climate reconstructions, and will pave the way for a "next-generation" tree-ring proxy for climate reconstructions with unprecedented qualities.