Dendrochronological investigations on subfossil European ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) wood found in two bogs of Western Lithuania are presented. Radiocarbon dating has revealed that Fraxinus grew in the Middle and Late Holocene, from approximately 4700 BC to 1500 BC. It is proposed that the growth of Fraxinus at these bogs was limited by differing hydrological regimes. Rising soil water levels induced a long decline in radial growth followed by a sharp reduction (up to 51%) in ring widths before the trees died. Until now, forest history in Lithuania was mostly based on results from palynological studies. This research demonstrates the potential of using dendrochronology to extend the distribution record of Fraxinus in the Baltic region during different periods of the Holocene.
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