In this report, we describe the use of dendrochronological techniques on the circumpolar, evergreen dwarf-shrub, Cassiope tetragona. Using techniques such as crossdating and standardization, and the software programs COFECHA and ARSTAN, we developed C. tetragona growth and reproduction chronologies for sites in the Canadian High Arctic. High-resolution chronologies may be used to reconstruct past climate and phase changes in large-scale modes of atmospheric circulation (e.g. Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation), to investigate the growth and reproductive responses of the plant to ambient and manipulated environmental variables, and to reconstruct the plant's past ecohydrology (δ18O, δD, δ13C), gas exchange (δ13C) and mineral nutrition (δ15N). As C. tetragona is a circumpolar species, chronologies may be developed throughout the Arctic at sites where no trees exist, and thus provide new information on the past climate and environmental history of sites and regions previously unstudied.
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