iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


The response of intra-annual stem circumference increase of young European beech provenances to 2012-2014 weather variability

Marek Ježík (1)   , Miroslav Blaženec (1), Jirí Kučera (2), Katarína Strelcová (3), Lubica Ditmarová (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 960-969 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1829-009
Published: Jun 23, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO RG7.01.00 - Nice (France 2015)
Global Challenges of Air Pollution and Climate Change to Forests
Guest Editors: Elena Paoletti, Pierre Sicard

The increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, especially droughts, arising from on-going climate changes negatively affect productivity and stability of forest ecosystems. Understanding species responses and suitable ecotypes that are able of adapting to new environmental conditions is increasingly important. The objective of this study was to quantify the relationships between the inter-annual stem circumference increase (SCI) of five European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provenances and weather variability during 2012-2014 in a provenance trial located in central Slovakia. SCIs were extracted on daily and weekly scale from hourly data of circumference changes. To detect the main environmental factors influencing SCI seasonal dynamics, intra-seasonal moving correlation functions were calculated. All five provenances responded synchronously to weather conditions, with high correlations among them during the growing season on both daily and weekly scale. The photoperiod exhibited a synchronizing effect on the seasonal peak of SCI as a sign of tree adaptation to long-term seasonal variations in climate. Temperature was the most significant factor influencing SCI dynamics at the beginning of the season. During the summer months, a precipitation deficit, heat waves and the consequently decreased soil water potential significantly affected the SCI of young beech trees, despite the fact that the provenance plot was situated in an area of optimum beech growth. Not only the severity and duration were important but also the timing of drought within a season. Within all seasons, the lowest SCI values were recorded for the provenance from the lowest altitude and the most oceanic climate (northern Germany). A comparison of daily and weekly SCI with first derivatives of growth functions indicated that SCIs were closely related to theoretical incremental processes, especially on a weekly scale. In young beech trees, SCI seemed to represent an appropriate proxy for studying intra-seasonal incremental processes. A newly designed SASB (self adjusting sharp beginning) function fit these processes better than the Gompertz function.


Stem Circumference Increase, Provenances, Fagus sylvatica, Weather Variables, Soil Water Potential

Authors’ address

Marek Ježík
Miroslav Blaženec
Lubica Ditmarová
Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Štúrova 2, 960 53 Zvolen (Slovak Republic)
Jirí Kučera
EMS Brno, Turistická 5, 621 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
Katarína Strelcová
Faculty of Forestry, Technical University Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, 960 53 Zvolen (Slovak Republic)

Corresponding author

Marek Ježík


Ježík M, Blaženec M, Kučera J, Strelcová K, Ditmarová L (2016). The response of intra-annual stem circumference increase of young European beech provenances to 2012-2014 weather variability. iForest 9: 960-969. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1829-009

Academic Editor

Elena Paoletti

Paper history

Received: Aug 29, 2015
Accepted: Mar 11, 2016

First online: Jun 23, 2016
Publication Date: Dec 14, 2016
Publication Time: 3.47 months

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