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  • Picea Abies
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  • 1
    In: Global Change Biology, December 2017, Vol.23(12), pp.5108-5119
    Description: Improving our understanding of the potential of forest adaptation is an urgent task in the light of predicted climate change. Long‐term alternatives for susceptible yet economically important tree species such as Norway spruce ( are required, if the frequency and intensity of summer droughts will continue to increase. Although Silver fir ( and Douglas fir have both been described as drought‐tolerant species, our understanding of their growth responses to drought extremes is still limited. Here, we use a dendroecological approach to assess the resistance, resilience, and recovery of these important central Europe to conifer species the exceptional droughts in 1976 and 2003. A total of 270 trees per species were sampled in 18 managed mixed‐species stands along an altitudinal gradient (400–1200 m a.s.l.) at the western slopes of the southern and central Black Forest in southwest Germany. While radial growth in all species responded similarly to the 1976 drought, Norway spruce was least resistant and resilient to the 2003 summer drought. Silver fir showed the overall highest resistance to drought, similarly to Douglas fir, which exhibited the widest growth rings. Silver fir trees from lower elevations were more drought prone than trees at higher elevations. Douglas fir and Norway spruce, however, revealed lower drought resilience at higher altitudes. Although the 1976 and 2003 drought extremes were quite different, Douglas fir maintained consistently the highest radial growth. Although our study did not examine population‐level responses, it clearly indicates that Silver fir and Douglas fir are generally more resistant and resilient to previous drought extremes and are therefore suitable alternatives to Norway spruce; Silver fir more so at higher altitudes. Cultivating these species instead of Norway spruce will contribute to maintaining a high level of productivity across many Central European mountain forests under future climate change. The two extreme droughts in 1976 and 2003 affected negatively the radial growth response of Norway spruce, Silver and Douglas fir in the Black forest at all elevations. The 1976 drought had a less pronounced effect than the 2003 summer drought; however, firs were noticeably more resistant and resilient to extreme drought than spruce. Spruce was the most affected species when comparing performances of drought indices, and Silver fir the least affected. Douglas fir showed consistently the highest growth rates.
    Keywords: Abies Alba ; Central Europe ; Climate Change ; Dendroecology ; Drought Tolerance ; Forest Management ; Picea Abies ; Pseudotsuga Menziesii
    ISSN: 1354-1013
    E-ISSN: 1365-2486
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Soil biology & biochemistry, 2010, Vol.42, pp.1347-1354
    Description: How the mixture of tree species modifies short-term decomposition has been well documented using litterbag studies. However, how litter of different tree species interact in the long-term is obscured by our inability to visually recognize the species identity of residual decomposition products in the two most decomposed layers of the forest floor (i.e. the Oe and Oa layers respectively). To overcome this problem, we used Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) to determine indirectly the species composition of forest floor layers. For this purpose, controlled mixtures of increasing complexity comprising beech and spruce foliage materials at various stages of decomposition from sites differing in soil acid–base status were created. In addition to the controlled mixtures, natural mixtures of litterfall from mixed stands were used to develop prediction models. Following a calibration/validation procedure, the best regression models to predict the actual species proportion from spectral properties were selected for each tree species based on the highest coefficient of determination (R2) and the lowest root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP). For the validation, the R2 (predictions versus true proportions) were 0.95 and 0.94 for both beech and spruce components in mixtures of materials at all stages of decomposition from the gradient of sites. The R2 decreased only marginally by 0.04 when models were tested on independent samples of similar composition. The best models were used to predict the beech-spruce proportion in Oe and Oa layers of unknown composition. They provided in most cases plausible predictions when compared to the composition of the canopy above the sampling points. Thus, tedious and potentially erroneous hand sorting of forest floor layers may be replaced by the use of NIRS models to determine species composition, even at late stages of decomposition. ; Includes references ; p. 1347-1354.
    Keywords: Forest Soils ; Biodegradation ; Soil Ph ; Prediction ; Calibration ; Forest Trees ; Botanical Composition ; Leaves ; Simulation Models ; Forest Litter ; Soil Horizons ; Organic Horizons ; Overstory ; Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy ; Model Validation ; Picea Abies ; Temperate Forests ; Accuracy ; Regression Analysis
    ISSN: 0038-0717
    Source: AGRIS (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Oecologia, 2012, Vol.169(4), pp.1105-1115
    Description: The phenomenon of overyielding in species-diverse plant communities is mainly attributed to complementary resource use. Vertical niche differentiation belowground might be one potential mechanism for such complementarity. However, most studies that have analysed the diversity/productivity relationship and belowground niche differentiation have done so for fully occupied sites, not very young tree communities that are in the process of occupying belowground space. Here we used a 5–6 year old forest diversity experiment to analyse how fine-root (〈2 mm) production in ingrowth cores (0–30 cm) was influenced by tree species identity, as well as the species diversity and richness of tree neighbourhoods. Fine-root production during the first growing season after the installation of ingrowth cores increased slightly with tree species diversity, and four-species combinations produced on average 94.8% more fine-root biomass than monocultures. During the second growing season, fine-root mortality increased with tree species diversity, indicating an increased fine-root turnover in species-rich communities. The initial overyielding was attributable to the response to mixing by the dominant species, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea abies , which produced more fine roots in mixtures than could be expected from monocultures. In species-rich neighbourhoods, P. abies allocated more fine roots to the upper soil layer (0–15 cm), whereas P. menziesii produced more fine roots in the deeper layer (15–30 cm) than in species-poor neighbourhoods. Our results indicate that, although there may be no lasting overyielding in the fine-root production of species-diverse tree communities, increasing species diversity can lead to substantial changes in the production, vertical distribution, and turnover of fine roots of individual species.
    Keywords: Species diversity ; Species richness ; Fine roots ; Overyielding ; Vertical niche differentiation ; BIOTREE
    ISSN: 0029-8549
    E-ISSN: 1432-1939
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 15 December 2016, Vol.382, pp.129-142
    Description: In forest ecosystems, deadwood is an important component that provides habitat and contributes to nutrient cycles, as well as to carbon and water storage. The change of wood constituents, nutrients and microbial species richness in the field over the whole time of decomposition has only rarely been studied, in particular not in relation to oxidative enzyme activities (mediating lignin degradation) and different forest management regimes. To describe wood decomposition, we selected coarse woody debris (CWD) in form of 197 logs of , and in forests with different management regimes across three regions in Germany. They were sampled and analyzed for wood density, water content, wood constituents (Klason and acid-soluble lignin, organic extractives, water-soluble lignin fragments), carbon, nitrogen and metals (Al, Ca, Cu, K, Mg, Mn and Zn). Furthermore, the activities of oxidative enzymes like laccase, manganese peroxidase, and general peroxidase were measured. Since filamentous fungi (Basidiomycota, Ascomycota) are the major biological agents of wood decomposition, fungal species richness based on sporocarps and molecular fingerprints was recorded. Higher forest management intensity had a negative effect on deadwood volume and in consequence on fungal species richness (sporocarps), but hardly to other analyzed variables. Furthermore, there were significant differences between the tree species for the concentrations of wood constituents and most nutrients as well as the activities of oxidative enzymes, although their course during decomposition was mostly similar among the tree species. We found that molecular species richness increased with the period of decomposition in contrast to the number of fruiting species, which was highest in the intermediate stage of decomposition. Both types of species richness increased with increasing volume of the CWD logs. Regarding the entire period of decomposition, white-rot fungi (WRF), based on identification of sporocarps, were the most abundant group of wood-decaying fungi in all three tree species. This corresponds well with the overall presence of laccase and peroxidases and the concomitant substantial loss of lignin, which points to the importance of these enzymes in deadwood decomposition. We found a continuous decomposition and decline of volume-related concentrations in wood constituents and nutrients with time of decomposition. Contrary to volume-related concentrations, the concentrations related to dry mass frequently increased.
    Keywords: Saproxylic Fungi ; Oxidative Enzyme ; Nutrients ; Lignin ; Forest Management Intensity ; Coarse Woody Debris ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 5
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(2)
    Description: Nitrogen availability in dead wood is highly restricted and associations with N-fixing bacteria are thought to enable wood-decaying fungi to meet their nitrogen requirements for vegetative and generative growth. We assessed the diversity of nifH (dinitrogenase reductase) genes in dead wood of the common temperate tree species Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies from differently managed forest plots in Germany using molecular tools. By incorporating these genes into a large compilation of published nifH sequences and subsequent phylogenetic analyses of deduced proteins we verified the presence of diverse pools corresponding to functional nifH , almost all of which are new to science. The distribution of nifH genes strongly correlated with tree species and decay class, but not with forest management, while higher fungal fructification was correlated with decreasing nitrogen content of the dead wood and positively correlated with nifH diversity, especially during the intermediate stage of wood decay. Network analyses based on non-random species co-occurrence patterns revealed interactions among fungi and N-fixing bacteria in the dead wood and strongly indicate the occurrence of at least commensal relationships between these taxa.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 01 June 2013, Vol.28(4), pp.346-357
    Description: Coarse woody debris (CWD) is critical for forest ecosystem carbon (C) storage in many ecosystems. Since the turnover of CWD is mostly driven by mineralization, changes in temperature and precipitation may influence its pools and functions. Therefore, we analysed, under controlled conditions,...
    Keywords: Coarse Woody Debris ; Carbon ; Respiration ; Decomposition ; Forestry
    ISSN: 0282-7581
    E-ISSN: 1651-1891
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecosystems, 2015, Vol.2(1), pp.1-14
    Description: Background Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important element of forest structure that needs to be considered when managing forests for biodiversity, carbon storage or bioenergy. To manage it effectively, dynamics of CWD decomposition should be known. Methods Using a chronosequence approach, we assessed the decomposition rates of downed CWD of Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris, which was sampled from three different years of tree fall and three different initial diameter classes (〉10 - [less than or equal to] 20 cm, 〉20 - [less than or equal to]40 cm, 〉40 cm). Samples originating from wind throws in 1999 were collected along a temperature and precipitation gradient. Based on the decay class and associated wood densities, log volumes were converted into CWD mass and C content. Log fragmentation was assessed over one year for log segments of intermediate diameters (〉20 - 40 cm) after 8 and 18 years of decomposition. Results Significantly higher decomposition constants (k) were found in logs of F. sylvatica (0.054 year^sup -1^) than in P. abies (0.033 year^sup -1^) and P. sylvestris (0.032 year^sup -1^). However, mass loss of P. sylvestris occurred mainly in sapwood and hence k for the whole wood may be overestimated. Decomposition rates generally decreased with increasing log diameter class except for smaller dimensions in P. abies. About 74 % of the variation in mass remaining could be explained by decomposition time (27 %), tree species (11 %), diameter (17 %), the interactive effects between tree species and diameter (4 %) as well as between decomposition time and tree species (3 %) and a random factor (site and tree; 9.5 %), whereas temperature explained only 2 %. Wood fragmentation may play a more important role than previously thought. Here, between 14 % and 30 % of the decomposition rates (for the first 18 years) were attributable to this process. Carbon (C) density (mgC·cm^sup -3^), which was initially highest for F. sylvatica, followed by P. sylvestris and P. abies, decreased with increasing decay stage to similar values for all species. Conclusions The apparent lack of climate effects on decomposition of logs in the field indicates that regional decomposition models for CWD may be developed on the basis of information on decomposition time, tree species and dimension only. These can then be used to predict C dynamics in CWD as input for C accounting models and for habitat management.
    Keywords: Dead wood ; Carbon ; Decay rate ; Beech ; Spruce ; Pine
    ISSN: 20956355
    E-ISSN: 2197-5620
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Annals of Forest Science, 2013, Vol.70(2), pp.195-207
    Description: CONTEXT : Since storm damage has a large impact on forest management in Central Europe, we investigated the main storm risk factors for two important conifer species, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirbel] Franco) and Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). AIMS : We compared general storm damage levels of Douglas-fir and Norway spruce, the latter being known to have high storm risk among European tree species. METHODS : Generalized linear mixed models and boosted regression trees were applied to recorded storm damage of individual trees from long-term experimental plots in southwest Germany. This included two major winter storm events in 1990 and 1999. Over 40 candidate predictors were tested for their explanatory power for storm damage and summarized into predictor categories for further interpretation. RESULTS : The two most important categories associated with storm damage were timber removals and topographic or site information, explaining between 18 and 54 % of storm damage risk, respectively. Remarkably, general damage levels were not different between Douglas-fir and Norway spruce. CONCLUSION : Under current forest management approaches, Douglas-fir may be considered a species with high storm risk in Central Europe, comparable to that of Norway spruce. ; p. 195-207.
    Keywords: Storm damage ; Risk ; Windthrow ; Douglas-fir ; Norway spruce ; Southwest Germany ; Empirical modeling
    ISSN: 1286-4560
    E-ISSN: 1297-966X
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Dendrochronologia, April 2018, Vol.48, pp.1-9
    Description: Norway spruce is one of the economically most important tree species in Central European forestry. However, its high susceptibility to droughts poses a strong challenge to its cultivation under future conditions with likely more frequent and prolonged droughts and shifts in the seasonal climate. To compensate for expected losses of forest areas suitable for the cultivation of spruce, more drought-tolerant species are required. Silver fir and Douglas fir are two potential candidates, which promise lower drought susceptibility and equal or even higher yield when compared to Norway spruce. Using the Black Forest as a regional case study, we assessed the effects of seasonal climate change, including drought stress, on tree-ring width formation of these three economically relevant conifer species over the last 60 years. In addition, we projected potential species-specific growth changes under different climate change scenarios until 2100. Our results suggest that both silver fir and Douglas fir will possibly experience growth increases in a warmer future climate, as predicted under the 4.5 and 8.5 Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) climate change scenarios, whereas growth of spruce is expected to decline. Moreover, drought susceptibility in silver fir and Douglas fir is lower than in spruce, as shown for past drought events, and their ability to benefit from milder winters and springs could play a major role in their capacity to compensate for drier summers in the near to mid-term future. This study highlights the need to advance our understanding of the processes that drive drought resistance and resilience in tree species to guide management strategies in the face of climate change.
    Keywords: Abies Alba ; Central Europe ; Climate Change ; Dendroecology ; Forest Management ; Picea Abies ; Pseudotsuga Menziesii ; Meteorology & Climatology ; Botany
    ISSN: 1125-7865
    E-ISSN: 1612-0051
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Forests, 01 October 2016, Vol.7(10), p.239
    Description: Widespread and economically important European tree species such as Norway spruce, Scots pine, and European beech are projected to be negatively affected by the increasing intensity and frequency of dry and hot conditions in a future climate. Hence, there is an increasing need to investigate...
    Keywords: Acer ; Sorbus ; Regeneration ; Drought Tolerance ; Resistance ; Recovery ; Forestry
    E-ISSN: 1999-4907
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