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Radiocarbon Determination of Past Growth Rates of Living Acacia Tortilis Trees from Two Arid Sites in the Eastern Sahara

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Tomasz Goslar*
Faculty of Physics, A. Mickicwicz University, Umultowska 85, 61–614 Poznań, Poland Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory, Rubicz 46, 61-612 Poznań, Poland
Gidske Andersen
Uni Research AS, P.O. Box 7810, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Knut Krzywinski
Uni Research AS, P.O. Box 7810, 5020 Bergen, Norway Department of Biology, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7800, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Justyna Czernik
Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory, Rubicz 46, 61-612 Poznań, Poland
Corresponding author. Email:


Reconstructions arc presented of past growth rates of 10 Acacia tortilis trees, 5 growing at an arid site (Gebeit, Sudan) and 5 at a hyperarid site (Wadi Nuqrus, Egypt). The reconstructions were made using a free-shape age-depth model based on a series of 14C dates obtained on samples taken along the wood cores retrieved from the trunks of the trees (78 dates in total). In spite of the large difference in annual precipitation between the 2 sites, the range of ages of the trees (60–350 yr) and the variability in their growth rates are quite similar across both sites, whereas within-site growth rates are quite different even for closely spaced individuals. However, the pattern of growth rates of Acacias from the hyperarid Wadi Nuqrus indicates 2 periods of different aridity (the less arid AD 1650–1780 and more arid AD 1780–1930), while at Gebeit no such pattern has been detected.

Paleoclimatology and Paleohydrology
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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