Researchers reconstruct drought variability from teak tree rings in Southern Myanmar

Teak (Tectona grandis) is a tropical, deciduous, broad-leaved tree species indigenous to Southeast Asia. Despite its high dendroclimatological potential, only a few studies have analyzed the relationships between teak ring-width and climate variability in Myanmar.

In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) extended the spatial coverage of high-resolution regional climate proxies in southern Myanmar by producing a new drought reconstruction from a new location.

The researchers developed a 226-year long ring-width chronology of teak, providing evidence for November–April drought variability in southern Myanmar. The three teak-bearing forest sites were namely Bago (West Yoma Forest Reserve, BAG), Mindon (Zaungtu Forest Reserve, MDN), and Paukkhaung (Phyu-Kun Forest Reserve, PKG) in southern Myanmar.

They found that teak radial growth was mainly controlled by moisture availability, making teak a suitable species for assessing drought variation in southern Myanmar.

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Zhang Nannan, Chinese Academy of Sciences