Investigating the Climatic Sensitivity of Shortleaf Pine on a Southeastern US College Campus

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018


Geography and Geology


Several college campuses established during the nineteenth century were developed on abandoned agricultural land where old (>150 years) shortleaf pine often remain, representing a possible resource for dendro-based research. We dendrochronologically sampled and determined the climatic sensitivity of 19 mature shortleaf pine collected from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) campus. To confirm climate/growth relationships between disturbed sites, we compared our UNCG chronology with an additional shortleaf pine chronology developed from 12 trees growing at the nearby (< 1 km), historic Green Hill Cemetery (GHC). All cores were prepared, measured, standardized, and assembled in a site chronology using standard tree-ring methods. Eleven trees at UNCG predated the establishment of the university in 1892. The UNCG chronology had strong agreement with the GHC chronology and were combined to increase sample depth (n=35). Significant relationships between our chronologies and monthly climate variables were comparable to other studies using shortleaf pine, suggesting that: 1) trees growing in disturbed urban environments are a viable and easily accessible data source for dendroclimatic research; and, 2) campus-based chronologies can be supplemented using samples from nearby disturbed locations.

Publication Title

Southeastern Geographer





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