# Relative Scale of Skeleton Plots

Trees living within a homogeneous stand or forest:

• Usually exhibit the same relative pattern of growth variation through time
• Often have absolute growth rates that differ substantially
• Due to living in different microsites
• Difficult to compare the ring-growth variation of two or more specimens from actual wood samples
• For example, see figure:
1. All three samples have exactly the same pattern of variation
2. Top sample has a growth rate less than that of the middle sample
3. Middle sample has a growth rate less than that of the bottom sample
Problem: Because of different growth rates, it's impossible to align the common pattern of variation using the actual wood samples

Solution: Dendrochronologists make skeleton plots to standardize scales:
• Represent growth variation of samples onto separate strips of graph paper
• Equalize the absolute scales ring growth
• Easily compare growth variation of two or more specimens
Note the three skeleton plots of the figure:
• Graphically represent their respective samples
• Have the same relative scale
• Easy to compare to one another
• Clearly show the same pattern of variation of each sample:
• Ring #1: moderately narrow
• Ring #4: somewhat narrow
• Ring #14: very narrow
• Ring #18: wide

Pattern Matching | Sensitivity | Example Application | Master Chronology | Introduction | Relative Scale