Dendrochronological Laboratory

Head of the laboratory: RNDr. Jan Altman, Ph.D.


The lab was founded in 2008. The current focus is especially on these topics:

  • reconstruction of tropical cyclone activity
  • impact of climate change on forest growth
  • detection of forest disturbances
  • forest dynamics
  • forest management

Study areas

Research conducted in the lab takes place mainly in the forests of the temperate zone, but also in the tropics. In Europe, we focus on ecology of lowland and mountain forests in central Europe. The main focus, however, is outside Europe. Specifically, in east Asia (South Korea, Japan, Russian Far East, China and Taiwan) and newly in the USA. Important research locations are also the Himalayas and Cameroon.

Here is the list of recent fieldwork expedition destinations of lab members: Sakhalin Island (2019), Kunashir Islands (2019), Japan (2017, 2019), Taiwan (2019), USA (2019), Russian Far East (2016, 2018), Canary Islands (2018), Nepal (2018), South Korea (2005-2007, 2009-2012, 2016, 2017), Cameroon (2007, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017), Indian Himalayas (2009, 2010, 2012-2015), Mongolia (2015), Svalbard (2013).


The lab has modern equipment for sample collection, basic tree-ring width measurement as well as more developed density measurement, anatomical analyses and full sample preparation for isotope analyses. Here is the list of the major equipment:

  • more than 30 increment borers of different lengths (20-80 cm)
  • SmartBorer for effective sampling
  • core and lab microtome for sample preparation
  • several binocular microscopes
  • two Lintab measuring systems with TSAP software
  • TimeTable measuring systems with Past 5 software
  • Dendrocut – twin blade saw for sample preparation for densitometric analysis
  • densitometer Tree Ring Scanner (Model QTRS-01X)


The lab has established cooperation with researchers all over the world and we are open to cooperate with people in any aspect of dendrochronology and forest ecology as well as interdisciplinary research where our skills may be useful. Currently, the most active cooperation is with scientists from the following countries: Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA.



  • 2019-2022: Large-scale reconstruction of long-term changes in hurricane activity and their impact on forest ecosystems in USA
  • 2018-2019: Reconstruction of long-term changes in frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in Northeast Asia
  • 2017-2019: Spatiotemporal reconstruction of tropical cyclones and their impact on the forest structure and diversity in Northeast Asia
  • 2017-2019: Ecological and evolutionary responses of plants to climate change: growth analysis across ecosystems and evolutionary linkages
  • 2017-2019: Dendrochronological research for The Silva Gabreta Project – transboundary cooperation in the monitoring of biodiversity and water regime
  • 2013-2017: Plant diversity changes under climate warming: from regional flora to microhabitat adaptation and diversity patterns
  • 2014-2016: Effects of changing growth conditions on tree increment, stand production and vitality – danger or opportunity for Central- European forestry?
  • 2012-2015: Saproxylic diversity in space and time: Form landscape history to community ecology and habitat modelling
  • 2008-2012: Upward migration of sub-nival plants in E Ladakh: the role of plant traits and interactions under climate warming
  • 2009-2012: Vegetation structure and dynamic along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients in forests of South Korea
  • 2005-2007: Plant communities of the Korean Peninsula: the first vegetation synthesis of less known area