Dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) exposed to soil dryness

Dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)
exposed to soil dryness (2007-2010)

Dendroclimatological and –ecological studies within the inner Alpine dry valley of the upper Inn river (Tyrol, Austria) revealed a strong relationship between spring precipitation and radial growth (tree ring width) of Scots pine stands (Pinus sylvestris L.). Based on linear models of tree ring- climate relationships the amount of variance in annual radial increment accounted for by climatic variables (monthly mean temperature and total precipitation) reached up to 65 %. However, the physiology of cambial activity, i.e.onset, cessation, year-to-year variability and relation to local environmental factors (microclimate, soil water status), has not yet been elucidated for P. sylvestris exposed to soil dryness within this region. Therefore, daily stem growth and seasonal dynamics of wood formation of P. sylvestris are compared between two sites, which differ in their soil moisture characteristics (xeric vs. dry-mesic) by installation of automatic band dendrometers and continuous extraction of micro-cores, respectively. Records of cambial activity are compared to measurements of microclimate, soil moisture dynamics and tree phenology.

Research Questions

  • This study is primarily aimed at determining the intra-annual dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation, i.e. onset, cessation and year-to-year variability, in Pinus sylvestris and the dependence on microclimate and soil moisture. Analysis of cambium activity and wood formation during the growing season will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of xylem growth and will allow a more detailed interpretation of growth-climate relationships within dry inner Alpine environments.

Funding
FWF P19563-B16 [Link]

Personnel involved
Mennel Julia  
Gruber Andreas
Oberhuber Walter

Publications

  • Gruber A., S. Strobl, B. Veit, W. Oberhuber (2010) temporal dynamics of wood formation in Pinus sylvestris. Tree Physiology 30:490-501
  • Oberhuber W., A. Gruber (2010) Climatic influences on intra-annual stem radial increment of Pinus sylvestris (L.) exposed to drought. Trees 24:887-898