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Thinning decreases above-ground biomass increment in central European beech forests but does not change individual tree resistance to climate events

Bosela, M., Stefancik, I., Marcis, P., Rubio-Cuadrado, A. and Lukac, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8535-6334 (2021) Thinning decreases above-ground biomass increment in central European beech forests but does not change individual tree resistance to climate events. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 306. 108441. ISSN 0168-1923

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108441

Abstract/Summary

European beech plays a prominent role in the adaptation of European forests to and mitigation of climate change. Forest management may increase the mitigation potential of beech forests by accelerating carbon accumulation in tree biomass, but little is known about the interaction between the rate of biomass expansion in beech and its sensitivity to climate variation or its resistance to extreme drought episodes. A 60-year thinning experiment in beech forests in Central Europe was used to generate tree-ring width series describing past radial growth of dominant, co-dominant and sub-dominant beech trees. Randomisation applied to daily climate data was used to find the period of the year during which climate best explains beech growth. Results show that carbon uptake by above-ground biomass is higher in unmanaged stands and that thinning does not affect beech growth sensitivity to climate. Further, this study shows that average daily temperature amplitude and precipitation in March-July are the best predictors of radial growth in beech at lower-elevation sites. In a key finding, this research shows that site quality and thinning intensity increase tree size, which in turn lowers their resistance to drought. Using forest management to increase the productivity of European beech may thus increase its vulnerability to climate change.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:98594
Publisher:Elsevier

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