One of the most critical phases of our research program involves the establishment of baseline mechanistic studies for determining growth responses for targeted species. We are highly dependant on our Thai colleagues for the success of this initiative, as regular weekly, sometimes daily, measurements need to be taken. These studies are designed to address three primary objectives:
1.) the determination of the periodicity of growth for several candidate tree species found in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.
2.) the analyses of specific responses to climatic variables for three dendroclimatically proven species (Tectona grandis, Pinus kesiya, and Pinus merkusii) and any promising additional species resulting from this study.
3.) the use of dendrochronology for the reconstruction and extension of climatic records for Southeast Asia in order to better understand variabilities, extremes, trends and possible relationships to global climatic change.
Primary Research Components
1.) Identification of tree species with potential ring structure
2.) Dendrometer band studies
3.) Cambial pinning studies
4.) Anatomical analyses
5.) Foliar frost resistance studies
6.) Drought tolerance studies
7.) Light sensitivity studies
8) Human impacts on forest health
9.) Chronology development and paleo-reconstruction
There are several
projects being conducted in Thailand, several which were spawned during FIELDWEEK 99. These projects involve staff from the TRL, the University of Sydney, and local researchers and students from Mahidol and Chiang Mai Universities in Thailand. Our Thai colleague, Orawan Tongjit from the Lampang Agricultural Training and Research Centre, has begun the Culturally-Modified Trees
project that looks at the effect of anthropogenic damage to living trees.