The European Dendroecologial Fieldweek (EDF) provides an intensive learning experience in tree-ring research that challenges any participant to explore new multidisciplinary dendro-sciences approaches within the context of field and laboratory settings. Here we present the 25th EDF, held in Asturias, NW Spain, in summer 2014. The course, with 33 participants and 10 instructors from 18 countries included advanced training in dendrochronology skills, an overview of tree-ring broad fields and methodological basics to deal with specific research questions as well as applied advanced micro-projects in dendroarchaeology (DAR), dendroclimatology (DCL), dendrogeomorphology (DGM), forest dynamic (FD) and plant anatomy (PA). The results demonstrated the potential of tree-ring research in the Asturias region. The DAR group researched archaeological samples from different contexts (Oviedo cathedral choir stalls, Segovia cathedral roof timbers, Ribadeo shipwreck ship timbers and Bronze Age site charcoal) and explored the supply of wood in different periods. The DCL group established that the Quercus robur and Castanea sativa ring-width measurements show weak climate-growth correlations, where for many trees this is likely caused by management. The strength of the climatic signal could be enhanced using undisturbed settings. The DGM group found that Corylus avellana and Salix spp. are challenging species for dendrogeomorphological studies. Debris-flow events were detected by the presence of tension wood, growth reduction and scars, and their incidences were also supported by local meteorological data. The FD group found that tree growth decreases with increasing competition, a pattern more pronounced in C. sativa than in Pinus sylvestris forest plantations. The results indicate that wood production could be increased by applying thinning treatments on C. sativa. The PA group showed that xylem conduits and phloem area are organized according to the common needs for water supply to leaves and obtain photosynthetic products, regardless site growing conditions for P. sylvestris and Tusilago farfara. In conclusion, this EDF has been a model for interdisciplinary research and international collaboration that has demonstrated that high-quality research and education can be conducted within one week. The EDFs provide an important service to the dendrochronological community and demonstrate the usefulness of this educational-scientific and multi-cultural experience.
- Plant anatomy