COMMUNITY SITE: Beneath the Bark

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Science  15 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5720, pp. 331
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5720.331e

By parsing the rings in the red oak trunk (Quercus rubra), a sharp-eyed dendrochronologist can read the tree's life story, deducing past fires, droughts, and other growth-changing events. These wooden records can help researchers track global warming, investigate the collapse of ancient civilizations, and more. Featuring everything from a jobs board to a gallery, the Ultimate Tree Ring Pages from dendrochronologist Henri Grissino-Mayer of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, brims with infor-mation for professionals and initiates into the fellowship of the rings. Visitors can download a slew of software for analyzing tree-ring records and browse a giant bibliography with more than 10,000 listings stretching back to 1737. A list of recommended supplies explains why even pacifist dendrochronologists need gun-cleaning kits. (They're ideal for dislodging gunk from the long tube of an increment borer, the standard tool for removing cores.) Links include tree-ring databases and a tutorial on crossdating, the technique for matching sequences from different trees to ascribe a year to each ring.

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