In 2005 the DendroLab at FEM-Wageningen University is established. It is built up with the support of the NWO MEERVOUD project. Research on Dendrochronology and Quantitative Wood Anatomy is conducted on different topics related to Forest Ecology and Forest Management.
Dendrochronology, or tree-ring research, can provide answers to research questions in different research fields. It is based on the fact that trees as perennial organisms record changes in their environment in their radial growth and tree-ring structure. Dendrochronology is widely applied as a dating discipline in archaeological and historical sciences. But it is also used in environmental sciences by providing answers to questions around tree growth in response to climate and numerous other environmental factors such as fire, flooding, pollution, geomorphic changes, etc. A comprehensive survey about all aspects of dendrochronology including links to an up-to-date bibliography, the International Tree-Ring Data Base (ITRDB) with thousands of tree-ring chronologies ready for to download and dendrochronological software, can be find at the Ultimate Tree-Ring Webpages.
Quantitative Wood AnatomyQuantitative wood anatomy (QWA) is a methodological approach based on the measurement of wood cell anatomical characteristics (e.g., conduit size and density, cell wall thickness, tissue percentage), analyzed through time (at intra- and/or inter-annual level), and used to characterize the relationships between tree growth and various environmental factors. Research on QWA comprises improvement of (i) preparation methods (thin sections and surface preparation), (ii) imaging-analysis software and (iii) time-series analysis techniques to assess the full potential of wood anatomical variables.
In 2006 an European Working group on QWA has been established and two workshops have been organized (at Wageningen University and the WSL, Birmensdorf) to bind forces in the field of QWA and cambial analysis. At Wageningen University research of QWA is carried out in the context of Dendroclimatology and Dendrogeomorphology.