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06 - Growth response of the main Carpathian forest tree species to climate extremes between 1997 and 2017

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Presented at

XXV IUFRO WORLD CONGRESS

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Abstract

Recent knowledge indicates that climate-induced changes affect productivity of temperate forests in Central Europe. Systematic measurements conducted within the framework of the unique forest monitoring networks enable an evaluation of tree responses to unprecedented long-term environmental changes at a large spatial scale. The primary objective of this study is to analyse recent growth changes in key tree species of the West Carpathians in relation to climate extremes. We focused on economically most significant forest tree species in Central Europe: European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.), Sessile oak (Quercus petraea Liebl.) and Downy oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.). Growth analysis is based on 20 years of periodic measurements of a large number of individual trees growing on eight ICP-Forests plots (Level II) distributed across Slovakia at an altitudinal range from 225 m to 1,250 m a.s.l.. In the study, we analysed annual increments of the following growth parameters: diameter at breast height, tree height, tree volume and tree basal area. The series of bioclimatological indicators and various climate indices quantifying particularly drought and extreme air temperatures were derived from the data of meteorological stations situated in the surrounding of the research plots for individual years between 1997 and 2017. Key questions answered by this contribution are: Do forest tree species exhibit climate driven trends in growth? How do species growth reactions to climate extremes differ? Which climate indicators affecting tree growth were most significant?

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