Navigation Links
The millennium-old olive trees of the Iberian Peninsula are younger than expected
Date:5/16/2012

This release is available in Spanish.

Due to the large size of the olive trees in the Mediterranean region, many experts have claimed that they are millennia old but "there had never been a scientific study to verify this," as explained to SINC by the ecologist Bernat Claramunt from the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF).

A team from this centre has now analysed the ages of the famous olive trees and the oldest found is 627 years of age. Claramunt states that "this is one of the oldest specimens recorded in the Mediterranean ecosystem and on the European Continent."

Lead by Jordi Martnez-Vilalta, the CREAF researchers employed classic dendrochronology methods based on the analysis of growth rings in the tree trunks. The study has been published in the Dendrochronologia journal.

The scientists analysed 14 olive trees (Olea europea) from the coastal region of Montsi in Catalonia. As Claramunt explains, "we use a technique that allows for the extraction of a small cylindrical piece of the trunk which goes from the bark to the core of the tree. This sample contains the life history of the tree." They also studied entire sections of the trunk that had been previously carved out.

Obtaining results from trunks is not easy. Claramunt warns that "there are times when the rings are hardly visible or they do not follow a known time pattern. The olive tree could also be too twisted."

The data from this study can also be useful when reconstructing the climatic conditions of the last few centuries. "As well as dating these olive trees, we have shown that this type of tree can be used for dendrochronological analysis," outlines the expert.

The legend of the millennium-old olive tree

The olive trees that captivated the famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado come from a variety that was cultivated in Palestine 6,000 years ago. This species spread West throughout the Mediterranean thanks to the Phoenicians, the Etruscans, the Greeks and the Romans. It is believed that they started to be cultivated in the Iberian Peninsula some 4,000 years ago.

There are at least 17 tree species in the world that can live longer than one thousand years and nearly all of them are conifers. The oldest known are the pine trees (Pinus longaeva) in the Rocky Mountains of North America that are nearly 5,000 years old.

"In Europe there are many trees that are considered to be one thousand years old but nobody has calculated their age," explains Claramunt. The Regional Government of Catalonia has recently changed the name of the 'millennium-old' olive trees to 'monumental trees'.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@agenciasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Former Howard Hughes Medical Institute president to speak at Oliver Smithies Nobel Symposium
2. Virgin olive oil & fish fatty acids help prevent acute pancreatitis
3. Using olive oil in your diet may prevent a stroke
4. Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease by changing how our genes function
5. Molecular biology provides clues to health benefits of olive oil
6. Genome of bacteria responsible for tuberculosis of olive tree sequenced
7. Olive oil could guard against developing ulcerative colitis
8. Source of major health benefits in olive oil revealed
9. Abundance of ladybugs in olive orchards is an indicator of health and sustainability
10. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
11. Handful of heavyweight trees per acre are forest champs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The millennium-old olive trees of the Iberian Peninsula are younger than expected
(Date:3/14/2016)... Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... - --> - Renvoi : image disponible ... --> --> DERMALOG, ... fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement ... DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 This BCC Research report ... of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the ... instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and ... main factors affecting each segment and forecast their market ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a SEMI ... in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More than ... have gathered for short courses, technical session, exhibits, ... The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016  Bayer today announced ... compound Stivarga ® (regorafenib) tablets for the ... has met its primary endpoint of a statistically ... RESORCE, evaluated the efficacy and safety of regorafenib ... after treatment with sorafenib. The safety and tolerability ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... biotechnology to help treat hormonal and stress related hair loss. With patent-pending formulas ... hearts of key opinion leaders in the medical and salon channels nationwide. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... gather at Boston CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at The ... forum for leading executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... - And Other Rising Companies ... Those Competitor Biologics  - Biosimilar Drug Producers ... ,  Who are the most important and ... their sales potentials? Discover, in our updated survey, organisations, ... and revenue forecasting. Visiongain,s new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: