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Radiocarbon dating of Chinese Ancient Tea Trees

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2019

Jia Chen
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China Guangxi Institute of Tea Science and Research, Guilin 541004, China
Hongtao Shen*
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan China Institute of Atomic Energy, P.O. Box 275(50), Beijing 102413, China
Kimikazu Sasa*
Affiliation:
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
Haihui Lan
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Tetsuya Matsunaka
Affiliation:
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan Kanazawa University, Ishikawa 923-1224, Japan
Masumi Matsumura
Affiliation:
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
Tsutomu Takahashi
Affiliation:
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
Seiji Hosoya
Affiliation:
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
Ming He
Affiliation:
China Institute of Atomic Energy, P.O. Box 275(50), Beijing 102413, China
Yun He
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Zhaomei Li
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Zhenchi Zhao
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Mingji Liu
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Siyu Wei
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Mingli Qi
Affiliation:
Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, China
Qingzhang Zhao
Affiliation:
China Institute of Atomic Energy, P.O. Box 275(50), Beijing 102413, China
Xiuju Qin
Affiliation:
Guangxi Luyi Institute of Tea Science and Research, Guilin 541004, China
Xinqiang Chen
Affiliation:
Guangxi Luyi Institute of Tea Science and Research, Guilin 541004, China
Shan Jiang
Affiliation:
China Institute of Atomic Energy, P.O. Box 275(50), Beijing 102413, China
*
*Corresponding authors. Emails: shenht@gxnu.edu.cn; ksasa@tac.tsukuba.ac.jp.
*Corresponding authors. Emails: shenht@gxnu.edu.cn; ksasa@tac.tsukuba.ac.jp.

Abstract

The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.

Type
Conference Paper
Copyright
© 2019 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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Footnotes

Selected Papers from the 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference, Trondheim, Norway, 17–22 June, 2018

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