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Nagham Tabaja

PhD student
University of Montpellier

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Dendrochronology is used in dating events and studying environmental and climatic changes throughout previous periods by having a comparative study between the growth rings related to the tree and the aged wood. Tree species reaction analysis to environmental condition changes is a major issue with global changes taking place. The long life span and old age of olive tree (Olea Europea L.) make it a potential candidate to be used as a proxy for the reconstruction of the climate in the Mediterranean region. A main point that must be taken into consideration is the scientific, cultural and social heritage of the olive trees making them an important target of the conservation program in Lebanon. Yet in Lebanon, olive trees have no clear studies of dendrochronological analysis to realize the exact age of the trees, the environmental and climatic effects throughout the history of the lifetime of the olive trees. The study of olive tree rings in Lebanon will be used to identify the age of the ancient olive trees in relation to genetics and circumstances faced by the olive trees such as temperature, precipitation, drought, heavy weather changes and other aspects. Biogeochemical analysis of the stable isotopes such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen will assess the past climatic and environmental changes. Another main point that will be tackled is the pollution through studying the content of Lead and Mercury and isotopic ratios available using the dendrochronological analysis and its different tools. This study will be very important and effective on the long run for olive trees, making it one of a kind in Lebanon. It will also allow us to better understanding the ability of olive trees to survive global change and derive responses to current and future climate and environmental challenges.

Keywords :

Monumental olive trees – Paleoecology – Paleoclimatology – Pollution (Hg) – Isotopic analysis

Directeur·ice(s) de thèse :

Lamis Chalak (Lebanese University, Lebanon)