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20th century seasonal moisture balance in Southeast Asian montane forests from tree cellulose δ 18 O


  • Mengfan Zhu


  • Lowell Stott
  • Brendan Buckley
  • Kei Yoshimura


The seasonally varying moisture balance in a montane forest of Southeast Asia is reconstructed for the 20th century from the oxygen isotopic composition (δ 18 O) of subannual tree cellulose samples of Pinus kesiya growing at 1,500 m elevation on Doi Chiang Dao in northern Thailand. The cellulose δ 18 O values exhibit a distinctive annual cycle with amplitude of up to 12 ‰, which we interpret to represent primarily the seasonal cycle of precipitation δ 18 O. The annual mean δ 18 O values correlate significantly with the amount of summer monsoon precipitation, and suggest a temporal weakening relationship between the South Asian monsoon and El Niño-Southern Oscillation over the late 20th century. The cellulose δ 18 O annual maxima values, which reflect the dry season moisture status, have declined progressively over the 20th century by about 3.5 ‰. We interpret this to indicate a change in the contribution of the isotopically distinct fog water to the dry season soil moisture in response to rising temperature as well as deforestation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Mengfan Zhu & Lowell Stott & Brendan Buckley & Kei Yoshimura, 2012. "20th century seasonal moisture balance in Southeast Asian montane forests from tree cellulose δ 18 O," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 505-517, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:115:y:2012:i:3:p:505-517
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0439-z

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