Variations in carbon 14 content in tree rings during the last 30 years: application to wood dating
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. Auclair; J. Evin; L. Pages
Publication Year: 1990

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • Canada
  • carbon
  • carbon dioxide
  • chemistry
  • dendrochronology
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • plant growth
  • Robinia
  • Robinia pseudoacacia
  • roots
  • sampling
  • seasonal activities
  • statistical analysis
  • trees
  • wood
  • wood properties
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 32128
Tall Timbers Record Number: 6211
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Robinia pseudocacia stem annual growth rings from 1958 to 1987 were analyzed for 14C content. The radioactivity of annual rings was found to be strongly correlated with 14C concentration in the atmosphere, which showed a very sharp rise until 1963 due to nuclear weapon tests followed by a regular decrease from then on. Taking into account seasonal variations in both atmospheric 14C concentration and CO2 assimilation slightly improved the relation between 14C in wood and the atmosphere. A predictive curve that gives the year of wood formation as a function of radioactivity with a 5% confidence interval is shown. These results can be used to analyze wood for which traditional analysis is impossible, for example, trees with false rings or missing rings, or wood from stumps or roots.© National Research Council of Canada, NRC Research Press. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Auclair, D., J. Evin, and L. Pages. 1990. Variations in carbon 14 content in tree rings during the last 30 years: application to wood dating. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, v. 20, no. 2, p. 241-244.