iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Measured and modelled source water δ18O based on tree-ring cellulose of larch and pine trees from the permafrost zone

Olga V Churakova-Sidorova (1-2)   , Sebastian Lienert (3-4), Galina Timofeeva (2), Rolf Siegwolf (2), John Roden (5), Fortunat Joos (3-4), Matthias Saurer (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 224-229 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3212-013
Published: Jun 19, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

To identify source water for trees growing on permafrost in Siberia, we applied mechanistic models that quantify physical and biochemical fractionation processes, leading to oxygen isotope variation (δ18O) in plant organic matter. These models allowed us to investigate the influence of a variety of climatic factors on tree-ring cellulose from two dominant species: Larix cajanderi Mayr. from northeastern Yakutia (69° 22′ N, 148° 25′ E, ~ 250 m a.s.l.) and Pinus sylvestris L. from Central Yakutia (62°14′ N, 129°37′ E, ~ 220 m a.s.l.). The climate of the region is highly continental with short growing seasons, low amount of precipitation and these forest ecosystems are growing on permafrost, which in turn impact the water cycle and climate variation in the δ18O of source water. We compared outputs of the Land surface Processes and eXchanges (LPX-Bern v. 1.3), and Roden-Lin-Ehleringer (RLE) models for the common period from 1945 to 2004. Based on our findings, trees from northeastern and central Yakutia may have access to additional thawed permafrost water during dry summer periods. Owing to differences in the soil structure, active thaw soil depth and root systems of trees at two Siberian sites, Larix cajanderi Mayr. trees can access water not more than from 50 cm depth, in contrast to Pinus sylvestris L. in Central Yakutia which can acquire water from up to 80 cm soil depth. The results enhance our understanding of the growth and survival of the trees in this extreme environment.


Conifers, Climate, Drought, Permafrost Thaw Depth, Siberia, δ18O of Source Water

Authors’ address

Olga V Churakova-Sidorova 0000-0002-1687-1201
Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Svobodniy pr 79, RU-660041 (Russia)
Olga V Churakova-Sidorova 0000-0002-1687-1201
Galina Timofeeva
Rolf Siegwolf 0000-0002-0249-0651
Matthias Saurer 0000-0002-3954-3534
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111 CH-8903 Birmensdorf (Switzerland)
Sebastian Lienert 0000-0003-1740-918X
Fortunat Joos 0000-0002-9483-6030
University of Bern, Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)
Sebastian Lienert 0000-0003-1740-918X
Fortunat Joos 0000-0002-9483-6030
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Falkenplatz 16, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)
John Roden 0000-0001-8641-1625
Southern Oregon University, Biology Department, Ashland, OR 97520 (USA)

Corresponding author

Olga V Churakova-Sidorova


Churakova-Sidorova OV, Lienert S, Timofeeva G, Siegwolf R, Roden J, Joos F, Saurer M (2020). Measured and modelled source water δ18O based on tree-ring cellulose of larch and pine trees from the permafrost zone. iForest 13: 224-229. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3212-013

Academic Editor

Rossella Guerrieri

Paper history

Received: Aug 07, 2019
Accepted: Apr 24, 2020

First online: Jun 19, 2020
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2020
Publication Time: 1.87 months

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