This paper reports on investigation of the dendroclimatic potential of three Polylepis species, P. pepei, P. subsericans and P. rugulosa in Peru and Bolivia in the tropical Andes, where they form the world's highest treeline forests up to 5,000 m a.s.l. In Bolivia, P. pepei trees were sampled close to La Paz City. In Peru, P. pepei and P. subsericans were sampled in the Vilcanota Mountains close to Urubamba City, and P. rugulosa in the Arequipa region on the slope of Coropuna Volcano. Chronologies span the 20th Century and all three species show intermediate values of mean sensitivity, common variance and signal-to-noise ratio. In general, correlation and response-function analyses revealed significant positive relationships with temperature during the rainy season for all three species in Peru and Bolivia. Relationships with precipitation were more difficult to interpret as positive relationships were observed between radial growth and precipitation at the beginning of the rainy season in all three species in Peru, whereas for P. pepei in Bolivia, the relationships with precipitation appeared to be controlled by local conditions including slope and substrate (moraine or scree slope).
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Vol. 68 • No. 2