Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/cp-2017-48
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
17 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).
Climate signals in a multispecies tree-ring network from central and southern Italy and reconstruction of the late summer temperatures since the early 1700s
Giovanni Leonelli1, Anna Coppola2, Maria Cristina Salvatore2, Carlo Baroni2,3, Giovanna Battipaglia4,5, Tiziana Gentilesca6, Francesco Ripullone6, Marco Borghetti6, Emanuele Conte7, Roberto Tognetti7, Marco Marchetti7, Fabio Lombardi8, Michele Brunetti9, Maurizio Maugeri9,10, Manuela Pelfini11, Paolo Cherubini12, Antonello Provenzale3, and Valter Maggi1,3 1Università degli Studi di Milano–Bicocca – Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science
2Università degli Studi di Pisa – Dept. of Earth Science
3Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Pisa
4Università della Campania – Dept. DiSTABiF
5University of Montpellier 2 (France) – PALECO EPHE
6Università degli Studi della Basilicata – School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, Potenza
7Università degli Studi del Molise – Dept. of Bioscience and Territory
8Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria – Dept. of Agronomy
9Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bologna
10Università degli Studi di Milano – Dept. of Physics
11Università degli Studi di Milano – Dept. of Earth Science
12Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Switzerland
Abstract. A first assessment of the main climatic drivers that modulate the tree-ring width (RW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) along the Italian Peninsula and northeastern Sicily was performed using 27 forest sites, which include conifers (RW and MXD) and broadleaves (only RW). Tree-ring data were compared using the correlation analysis of the monthly and seasonal variables of temperature, precipitation and standardized precipitation index (SPI, used to characterize meteorological droughts) against each species-specific site chronology and against the highly sensitive to climate (HSTC) chronologies (based on selected indexed individual series). We find that climate signals in conifer MXD are stronger and more stable over time than those in conifer and broadleaf RW. In particular, conifer MXD variability is directly influenced by the late summer (August, September) temperature and is inversely influenced by the summer precipitation and droughts (SPI at a timescale of 3 months). Conifer RW is influenced by the temperature and drought of the previous summer, whereas broadleaf RW is more influenced by summer precipitation and drought of the current growing season. The reconstruction of the late summer temperatures for the Italian Peninsula for the past 300 yr, based on the HSTC chronology of conifer MXD, shows a stable model performance that underlines periods of climatic worsening around 1699, 1740, 1814, 1909, 1939 CE and well follows the variability of the instrumental record. Considering a 20 yr low-pass filtered series, the reconstructed temperature record consistently deviates < 1 °C from the instrumental record. This divergence may be due also to the precipitation patterns and drought stresses that influence the tree-ring MXD at our study sites. The reconstructed temperature variability is valid for the west-east oriented region including Sardinia, Sicily and the western Balkan area along the Adriatic coast.

Citation: Leonelli, G., Coppola, A., Salvatore, M. C., Baroni, C., Battipaglia, G., Gentilesca, T., Ripullone, F., Borghetti, M., Conte, E., Tognetti, R., Marchetti, M., Lombardi, F., Brunetti, M., Maugeri, M., Pelfini, M., Cherubini, P., Provenzale, A., and Maggi, V.: Climate signals in a multispecies tree-ring network from central and southern Italy and reconstruction of the late summer temperatures since the early 1700s, Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2017-48, in review, 2017.
Giovanni Leonelli et al.
Giovanni Leonelli et al.
Giovanni Leonelli et al.

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Short summary
We analyze a tree-ring network from several sites distributed along the Italian Peninsula with the aims of detecting common climate drivers of tree growth and of reconstructing the past climate. We detect the main climatic drivers modulating tree-ring width (RW) and tree-ring maximum latewood density (MXD) and we reconstruct late summer temperatures since the early 1700s using a MXD chronology: this reconstruction is representative of a wide area around the Italian Peninsula.
We analyze a tree-ring network from several sites distributed along the Italian Peninsula with...
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