iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Links between phenology and ecophysiology in a European beech forest

Josef Urban (1)   , Emílie Bednárová (2), Roman Plichta (1), Vladimír Gryc (3), Hanuš Vavrčík (3), Jakub Hacura (3), Marek Fajstavr (3), Jirí Kučera (4)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 438-447 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1307-007
Published: Dec 15, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

Over the course of a year, tree physiological processes are not only directly affected by environmental conditions, but also by the tree’s own phenological stages. At the same time, phenological stages should, to a certain degree, reflect tree physiology. However, we have rather poor knowledge of the details of the interplay between phenology and ecophysiology. The objective of this study was to develop a better understanding of the links between phenology and ecophysiology. We investigated the degree to which various physiological processes are synchronized both with each other and with phenology and what information related to phenology can be obtained from instrumental ecophysiological measurements. Phenological observations, along with measurements of transmittance of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), stem volume changes, sap flow and xylogenesis were conducted in a 45-year old European beech (Fagus sylvatica) stand in the Czech Republic. Results indicated that ecophysiology was tightly related with the phenological stage of the tree. Early spring phenological stages were closely linked with the beginning of cambial activity and the onset of sap flow, i.e., the first leaves were produced simultaneously with the beginning of stem radial growth. The highest xylem growth rates occurred in June, simultaneously with the highest sap flow rates. Cambial activity ceased with the onset of summer leaf coloring at the end of July, at the same time as the permanent decrease in sap flow rate. The end of cell wall maturation was linked to the onset of autumn leaf coloring. We conclude that instrumental measurements of tree and stand ecophysiology provided additional information better specifying the onset of particular phenostages. In our case, twelve permanently located sensors used to measure PAR transmittance captured leaf area development with acceptable accuracy, thus limiting the need for frequent visits to the forest site in the spring and autumn. Moreover, data from dendrometers showed linkages to bud break and the onset of leaf coloring. Therefore, ecophysiological measurements increased the effectiveness and accuracy of phenological observations and provided additional information about tree development in particular external conditions.


Phenology, Ecophysiology, Sap Flow, Xylogenesis, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Dendrometers

Authors’ address

Josef Urban
Roman Plichta
Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocenology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 61300 Brno (Czech Republic)
Emílie Bednárová
Institute of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 61300 Brno (Czech Republic)
Vladimír Gryc
Hanuš Vavrčík
Jakub Hacura
Marek Fajstavr
Department of Wood Science, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 61300 Brno (Czech Republic)
Jirí Kučera
EMS Brno, Turistická 5, 62100 Brno (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Josef Urban


Urban J, Bednárová E, Plichta R, Gryc V, Vavrčík H, Hacura J, Fajstavr M, Kučera J (2014). Links between phenology and ecophysiology in a European beech forest. iForest 8: 438-447. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1307-007

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: Apr 07, 2014
Accepted: Sep 08, 2014

First online: Dec 15, 2014
Publication Date: Aug 02, 2015
Publication Time: 3.27 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 49438
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 41444
Abstract Page Views: 2657
PDF Downloads: 3994
Citation/Reference Downloads: 38
XML Downloads: 1305

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 3480
Overall contacts: 49438
Avg. contacts per week: 99.44

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2015): 18
Average cites per year: 2.00


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998)
Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 56, FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 300.
Backes K, Leuschner C (2000)
Leaf water relations of competitive Fagus sylvatica and Quercus petraea trees during 4 years differing in soil drought. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30 (3): 335-346.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Basler D, Körner C (2012)
Photoperiod sensitivity of bud burst in 14 temperate forest tree species. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 165: 73-81.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Bednárová E, Kučera J, Merklová L (2010)
The onset and duration of vegetative phenological stages in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) under changing conditions of the environment. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis 58 (4): 23-30.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Bednárová E, Merklová L (2007)
Vyhodnocení fenologie mladého smrkového porostu v oblasti Drahanská vrchovina [Phenology of young Norway spruce forest stand]. In: “Klima lesa” (Rožnovský J, Litschmann T, Vyskot I eds). Sborník Ref. - Mezinárodní Konf, Ceská bioklimatologická společnost, Krtiny, Czech Republic, pp. 54-58.
Bequet R, Campioli M, Kint V, Vansteenkiste D, Muys B, Ceulemans R (2011)
Leaf area index development in temperate oak and beech forests is driven by stand characteristics and weather conditions. Trees 25 (5): 935-946.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Bonan GB (1993)
Importance of leaf area index and forest type when estimating photosynthesis in boreal forests. Remote Sensing of Environment 43 (3): 303-314.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cermák J, Deml M, Penka M (1973)
A new method of sap flow rate determination in trees. Biologia Plantarum 15 (3): 171-178.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cermák J, Kučera J, Nadezhdina N (2004)
Sap flow measurements with some thermodynamic methods, flow integration within trees and scaling up from sample trees to entire forest stands. Trees 18 (5): 529-546.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cermák J, Kucera J, Bauerle WL, Phillips N, Hinckley TM (2007)
Tree water storage and its diurnal dynamics related to sap flow and changes in stem volume in old-growth Douglas-fir trees. Tree Physiology 27 (2): 181-198.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cochard H (2001)
A new validation of the Scholander pressure chamber technique based on stem diameter variations. Journal of Experimental Botany 52 (359): 1361-1365.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cufar K, Prislan P, de Luis M, Gričar J (2008)
Tree-ring variation, wood formation and phenology of beech (Fagus sylvatica) from a representative site in Slovenia, SE Central Europe. Trees 22 (6): 749-758.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (1987)
Metodologická príručka č. 10: Návod pro činnost meteorologických stanic - Lesní rostliny. [Methodology No. 10: Instructions for meteorological stations - forest plants]. Publishing house of Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 111.
Deslauriers A, Rossi S, Anfodillo T (2007)
Dendrometer and intra-annual tree growth: what kind of information can be inferred? Dendrochronologia 25 (2): 113-124.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Dietze MC, Sala A, Carbone MS, Czimczik CI, Mantooth JA, Richardson AD, Vargas R (2014)
Nonstructural carbon in woody plants. Annual Review of Plant Biology 65 (1): 667-687.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Drew DM, Downes GM (2009)
The use of precision dendrometers in research on daily stem size and wood property variation: a review. Dendrochronologia 27: 159-172.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Granier A, Reichstein M, Bréda N, Janssens I, Falge E, Ciais P, Grünwald T, Aubinet M, Berbigier P, Bernhofer C, Buchmann N, Facini O, Grassi G, Heinesch B, Ilvesniemi H, Keronen P, Knohl A, Köstner B, Lagergren F, Lindroth A, Longdoz B, Loustau D, Mateus J, Montagnani L, Nys C, Moors E, Papale D, Peiffer M, Pilegaard K, Pita G, Pumpanen J, Rambal S, Rebmann C, Rodrigues A, Seufert G, Tenhunen J, Vesala T, Wang Q (2007)
Evidence for soil water control on carbon and water dynamics in European forests during the extremely dry year: 2003. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 143 (1-2): 123-145.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Gu L, Post WM, Baldocchi D, Andy Black T, Verma SB, Vesala T, Wofsy SC (2003)
Phenology of vegetation photosynthesis. In: “Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science” (schwarz MD ed). Tasks for Vegetation Science 39, Springer, The Netherlands, pp. 467-485.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hájková L, Voženílek V, Tolasz R (2012)
Atlas of the phenological conditions in Czechia (1st edn). Publishing house of Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 311.
Hardy J, Melloh R, Koenig G, Marks D, Winstral A, Pomeroy J, Link T (2004)
Solar radiation transmission through conifer canopies. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 126 (3-4): 257-270.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hassika P, Berbigier P (1998)
Annual cycle of photosynthetically active radiation in maritime pine forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 90 (3): 157-171.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hinckley TM, Teskey RO, Duhme F, Richter H (1981)
Temperate hardwood forests. In: “Water Deficits and Plant Growth. Vol VI: Woody Plant Communities” (Kozlowski TT ed). Academic Press, London, UK, pp. 153-208.
Online | Gscholar
Holtta T, Makinen H, Nojd P, Makela A, Nikinmaa E (2010)
A physiological model of softwood cambial growth. Tree Physiology 30 (10): 1235-1252.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ježík M, Blaženec M, Letts MG, Ditmarová L, Sitková Z, Strelcová K (2014)
Assessing seasonal drought stress response in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) by monitoring stem circumference and sap flow. Ecohydrology (early view).
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kozlowski TT, Pallardy S (1997)
Physiology of woody plants. Academic Press, S. Diego, CA, USA, pp. 427.
Kučera J, Bednárová E, Kamlerová K (2002)
Vertical profile of needle biomas and pnetration of radiation through the spruce stand. Ekologia 21: 107-121.
Kučera J, CŒermák J, Penka M (1977)
Improved thermal method of continual recording the transpiration flow rate dynamics. Biologia Plantarum 19 (6): 413-420.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lemoine D, Cochard H, Granier A (2002)
Within crown variation in hydraulic architecture in beech (Fagus sylvatica L.): evidence for a stomatal control of xylem embolism . Annals of Forest Science 59 (1): 19-27.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Leuschner C, Backes K, Hertel D, Schipka F, Schmitt U, Terborg O, Runge M (2001)
Drought responses at leaf, stem and fine root levels of competitive Fagus sylvatica L. and Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl. trees in dry and wet years. Forest Ecology and Management 149 (1-3): 33-46.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Leuschner C, Meier IC, Hertel D (2006)
On the niche breadth of Fagus sylvatica: soil nutrient status in 50 central European beech stands on a broad range of bedrock types . Annals of Forest Science 63 (4): 355-368.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Löf M, Welander N (2000)
Carry-over effects on growth and transpiration in Fagus sylvatica seedlings after drought at various stages of development. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30 (3): 468-475.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lupi C, Morin H, Deslauriers A, Rossi S (2012)
Xylogenesis in black spruce: does soil temperature matter? Tree Physiology 32 (1): 74-82.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Mäkinen H, Seo JW, Nöjd P, Schmitt U, Jalkanen R (2008)
Seasonal dynamics of wood formation: a comparison between pinning, microcoring and dendrometer measurements. European Journal of Forest Research 127 (3): 235-245.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Meier IC, Leuschner C (2008)
Leaf size and leaf area index in Fagus sylvatica forests: competing effects of precipitation , temperature , and nitrogen availability. Ecosystems 11 (5): 655-669.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Menzel A (2000)
Trends in phenological phases in Europe between 1951 and 1996. International Journal of Biometeorology 44 (2): 76-81.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Michelot A, Simard S, Rathgeber C, Dufrene E, Damesin C (2012)
Comparing the intra-annual wood formation of three European species (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea and Pinus sylvestris) as related to leaf phenology and non-structural carbohydrate dynamics. Tree Physiology 32 (8): 1033-1045.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Mussche S, Samson R, Nachtergale L, De Schrijver A, Lemeur R, Lust N (2001)
A comparison of optical and direct methods for monitoring the seasonal dynamics of leaf area index in deciduous forests. Silva Fennica 35 (4): 373-384.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ogasa M, Miki N, Yoshikawa K (2010)
Changes of hydraulic conductivity during dehydration and rehydration in Quercus serrata Thunb. and Betula platyphylla var. japonica Hara: the effect of xylem structures. Tree Physiology 30 (5): 608-617.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Pallardy S (2008)
Physiology of woody plants (3rd edn). Academic Press, London, UK, pp. 454.
Peuke AD, Schraml C, Hartung W, Rennenberg H (2002)
Identification of drought-sensitive beech ecotypes by physiological parameters. New Phytologist 154 (2): 373-387.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Prislan P, Schmitt U, Koch G, Gričar J, Ä ufar K (2011)
Seasonal ultrastructural changes in the cambial zone of beech (Fagus sylvatica) grown at two different altitudes. IAWA Journal 32: 443-459.
Online | Gscholar
Rossi S, Menardi R, Anfodillo T (2006)
Trephor: a new tool for sampling microcores from tree stems. IAWA Journal 27 (1): 89-97.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Anfodillo T, Carraro V (2007)
Evidence of threshold temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers at high altitudes. Oecologia 152 (1): 1-12.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Saigusa N, Yamamoto S, Murayama S, Kondo H, Nishimura N (2002)
Gross primary production and net ecosystem exchange of a cool-temperate deciduous forest estimated by the eddy covariance method. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 112 (3-4): 203-215.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Sass-Klaassen U, Sabajo CR, den Ouden J (2011)
Vessel formation in relation to leaf phenology in pedunculate oak and European ash. Dendrochronologia 29 (3): 171-175.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Scartazza A, Moscatello S, Matteucci G, Battistelli A, Brugnoli E (2013)
Seasonal and inter-annual dynamics of growth, non-structural carbohydrates and C stable isotopes in a Mediterranean beech forest. Tree Physiology 33 (7): 730-742.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Schmitt U, Möller R, Eckstein D (2000)
Seasonal wood formation dynamics of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) as determined by the “pinning’” technique. Angewandte Botanik 74:10-16.
Online | Gscholar
Steppe K, De Pauw DJ, Lemeur R (2008)
Validation of a dynamic stem diameter variation model and the resulting seasonal changes in calibrated parameter values. Ecological Modelling 218 (3-4): 247-259.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Strelcová K, Priwitzer T, Mindáš J (2006)
Fenologické fázy a transpirácia buka lesnéhov horskom zmiešanom lese [Phenological stages and transpiration of European beech in the mountain mixed forest]. In: “Fenologická odezva promÄ nlivosti podnebí” (Rožnovský J, Litschmann T, Vyskot I eds). Publishing house of Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic, pp. 1-14. [in Slovak]
Suzuki H, Yoda K, Suzuki M (1996)
Phenological comparison of the onset of vessel formation between ring-porous and diffuse-porous deciduous trees in a Japanese temperate forest. IAWA Journal 17 (4): 431-444.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Vavrčík H, Gryc V, Menšík L, Baar J (2013)
Xylem formation in Fagus sylvatica during one growing season. Dendrobiology 69: 69-75.
Online | Gscholar
Viewegh J, Kusbach M, Mikeska M (2003)
Czech forest ecosystem classification. Journal of Forest Science 49: 74-82.
Online | Gscholar
Vose JM, Clinton BD, Sullivan NH, Bolstad PV (1995)
Vertical leaf area distribution, light transmittance, and application of the Beer-Lambert Law in four mature hardwood stands in the southern Appalachians. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 25 (6): 1036-1043.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Wareing PF (1953)
Growth studies in woody species. V. Photoperiodism in dormant buds of Fagus sylvatica L. Physiologia Plantarum 6 (4): 692-706.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Whitehead D (1998)
Regulation of stomatal conductance and transpiration in forest canopies. Tree Physiology 18 (8-9): 633-644.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zweifel R, Hasler R (2001)
Dynamics of water storage in mature subalpine Picea abies: temporal and spatial patterns of change in stem radius. Tree Physiology 21 (9): 561-569.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zweifel R, Item H, Hasler R (2001)
Link between diurnal stem radius changes and tree water relations. Tree Physiology 21 (12-13): 869-877.
CrossRef | Gscholar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info