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Introduction to the Tasmanian Tree Ring Database

The purpose of the Tasmanian Tree Ring Database is to centralize past, current and future dendrochronological research activities associated with Tasmanian trees. These include internationally significant species such as the endemic Tasmanian conifers (King Billy Pine, Pencil Pine, Huon Pine, and Celery Top Pine) and giant eucalypts. These species are a natural archive that is crucial to improved understanding of climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. This resource has barely been tapped and ongoing dendrochronological research in the Tasmanian conservation estate will almost certainly contribute insights of importance into the environmental history of Tasmania and the world.
Over the last 30 years a large amount of dendrochronological material has been collected from Tasmanian forests, particularly in the Western Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Much of this material has been taken out of the state and some of it has been lost or destroyed. Further, because of concerns of the impact of dendrochronology on Tasmania trees there has sometimes been a reluctance to issue research permits. Improving the access by researchers to new field collections requires taking steps to ensure that material is not being recollected, and that any future collections are formally lodged thereby ensuring that other researchers can avoid recollecting the same material.
This online database will facilitate Tasmanian dendrochronological research and build up research capacity to focus on Southern Hemisphere climate change. It is hoped the database will open up opportunities for application for competitive grants, international collaborations and attracting international scholars and their students. The outputs of future dendrochronological research will assist Tasmanian climate reconstruction that can help policy makers understand past variability in climate and natural disturbances such as massive bushfires and extreme droughts. Such historical context is crucial in understanding the risk presented by climate change to South-eastern Australia.

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