iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Oak sprouts grow better than seedlings under drought stress

Justyna Pietras (1-2)   , Marko Stojanović (1-2), Robert Knott (2), Radek Pokorný (1-2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 529-535 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1823-009
Published: Mar 17, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO division 8.02 - Mendel University Brno (Czech Republic) 2015
Coppice forests: past, present and future
Guest Editors: Tomas Vrska, Renzo Motta, Alex Mosseler

This study focused on the comparison of two contrasting forest regeneration types and their susceptibility to drought stress. Transpiration and biomass production were studied on young sessile oak trees Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl. regenerated as sprouts and seedlings, and grown in a coppice experimental site in the Czech Republic. Biomass production was estimated using destructive methods, while transpiration was derived from sap flow measurements and assessed according to the plant biometry and microclimatic conditions. Sprouts were characterized by a significantly higher diameter, height, leaf area and above-ground biomass and by a lower wood density as compared with seedlings of the same age. Moreover, the sap flow of sprouts was higher than that of seedlings, which was explained by the plant dimension. Transpiration, expressed as sap flow scaled to plant leaf area, did not differ between seedlings and sprouts when soil water was not limiting. However, during drought periods, when soil water potential dropped below -1.4 MPa, sprouts transpired significantly more than seedlings. Our results confirm that sprouts have access to a larger water pool via the old stump root system and are able to draw more water under drought. Moreover, sprouts seemed to be less susceptible to water limitations than seedlings of similar age. Less influence of drought on sprouts may partially explain their higher above-ground biomass production. Based on our results, coppice could be an appropriate management system to be adopted in sites characterized by frequent or extreme drought periods.


Drought Stress, Sap Flow, Transpiration, Biomass Production, Sessile Oak, Coppice, Sprout, Seedling

Authors’ address

Justyna Pietras
Marko Stojanović
Radek Pokorný
Department of Biomass Production and Water Balance, Global Change Research Center, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Belidla 4a, 603 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
Justyna Pietras
Marko Stojanović
Robert Knott
Radek Pokorný
Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Justyna Pietras


Pietras J, Stojanović M, Knott R, Pokorný R (2016). Oak sprouts grow better than seedlings under drought stress. iForest 9: 529-535. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1823-009

Academic Editor

Tamir Klein

Paper history

Received: Aug 26, 2015
Accepted: Jan 02, 2016

First online: Mar 17, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 2.50 months

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