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14C Variations from Tasmanian Trees—Preliminary Results

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Steve McPhail
Affiliation:
Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Sydney, Sydney N S W, Australia
Mike Barbetti
Affiliation:
Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Sydney, Sydney N S W, Australia
Roger Francey
Affiliation:
CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Physics, Aspendale
Trevor Bird
Affiliation:
CSIRO Division of Forest Research, Hobart
Jiri Dolezal
Affiliation:
CSIRO Division of Forest Research, Hobart
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Abstract

Huon pine is endemic to Tasmania. It has well-defined annual rings, may live for over 2000 years, and is particularly resistant to decay. Celery-top pine has similar characteristics and may live for 800 years. As part of a multi-disciplinary study of these trees and their habitat, a simple wood pretreatment method for isotope analysis is described. The solvent-acid-alkali-acid sequence yields a value of Δ14C = −16 ± 6‰ for AD 1941–45 Huon pine heartwood; Δ14C for extracts containing various proportions of post-AD 1955 carbon are also presented. Δ14C measurements on super-canopy and sub-canopy leaves from Celery-top pines are compared and used to place an upper limit of 10% on the amount of sub-canopy CO2 assimilated by sapling leaves, originating from decaying litter-mass. 14C ages from well-preserved logs illustrate the potential for a continuous Holocene chronology from 7400 years BP to the present. A 12,000-year-old Celery-top log has also been found.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The American Journal of Science 

References

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