Periodicities in mid- to late-Holocene peatland hydrology identified from Swedish and Lithuanian tree-ring data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Twenty-five tree-ring width (TRW) chronologies, developed from moisture sensitive peatland trees in Sweden and Lithuania, and representing eight periods during the mid-Holocene to present, were analysed regarding common periodicities (cycles). Periods of 13-15, 20-22, and 30-35 years were found in most chronologies, while 8-10, 18-19, and 60-65 year periodicities were observed as well, but less commonly. Similar periodicities, especially about 15 and 30 years in duration, were detected in both living and subfossil trees, indicating that the trees have responded to similar forcing mechanisms on those timescales through time. Some of the detected periods may be related to solar variability and lunar nodal tides, but most of the detected periodicities are more likely linked to hydrological changes in the peatlands associated to atmospheric patterns such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), or variations in sea surface temperatures (i.e. the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO). However, no significant relationships between tree growth, NAO and AMO could be formally established, possibly due to hydrological lag and feedback effects which are typical for peatlands but render in-depth assessments rather difficult.


External organisations
  • University of Bern
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Geneva
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • AMO, Lithuania, Lunar nodal tides, NAO, Solar variability, Spectral analysis, Sweden, Wavelet analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch