Temperature dependence of Pinus cembra stem growth and respiration along an altitudinal transect within the timberline ecotone (2006-2009)

Temperature dependence of Pinus cembra stem growth and respiration along an altitudinal transect within the timberline ecotone (2006-2009)

In high altitude timberline environments low temperature during the growing period is suggested to be the major factor restricting tree growth. An altitudinal gradient from the closed forest (c. 1700 m a.s.l.) up to the tree species limit (“krummholz”-limit; 2150 m a.s.l.) was established at Mt. Patscherkofel (Tyrol, Austria) and daily stem growth and seasonal dynamics of wood formation of Pinus cembra were recorded by installation of automatic band dendrometers and continuous extraction of micro-cores, respectively (n = 3 trees/site). Pinus cembra was chosen because of its dominance at timberline in the central part of the Eastern Alps. Records of cambial activity were compared with stem respiration, photosynthesis, local microclimate and tree phenology.

Research Questions

  • This study primarily aimed at determining the dynamics of cambial activity and wood formation in relation to stem respiration of Pinus cembra and their dependence on photosynthesis and microclimate along a natural gradient of increasing temperature limitation for tree growth within the timberline ecotone.

Funding
FWF P18819-B03 [Link]

Personnel involved
Gruber Andreas
Swidrak Irene
Oberhuber Walter

Cooperation
Universitätsdozent Dr. Gerhard Wieser [Link]
Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape

Publications

  • Gruber A., D. Pirkebner, W. Oberhuber, G. Wieser (2010) Spatial and seasonal variations in mobile carbohydrates in Pinus cembra in the timberline ecotone of the Central Austrian Alps. European Journal of Forest Research, DOI:10.1007/s10342-010-0419-7.
  • Wieser G., W. Oberhuber, L. Walder, D. Spieler, A. Gruber (2010)  Photosynthetic temperature adaptation of Pinus cembra within the timberline ecotone of the Central Austrian Alps. Annals of Forest Science 67, 201. DOI: 10.1051/forest/2009094
  • Gruber A., G. Wieser, W. Oberhuber (2009) Effects of simulated soil temperature on stem diameter increment of Pinus cembra at the alpine timberline: a new approach based on root zone roofing. European Journal of Forest Research 129:141–144.DOI 10.1007/s10342-009-0305-3 
  • Gruber A., G. Wieser, W. Oberhuber (2009) Intra-annual dynamics of stem CO2 efflux in relation to cambial activity and xylem development in Pinus cembra. Tree Physiology 29:641-649
  • Gruber A., J. Zimmermann, G. Wieser, W. Oberhuber (2009) Effects of climate variables on intra-annual stem radial increment in Pinus cembra (L.) along the alpine treeline ecotone.. Annals of Forest Science 66: 503; DOI 10.105l/forest/2009038
  • Wieser G., R. Matyssek, R. Luzian, P. Zwerger, P. Pindur, W. Oberhuber, A. Gruber (2009) Effects of atmospheric and climate change at the timberline of the Central European Alps. Annals of Forest Science 66: 402; DOI: 10.1051/forest/2009023
  • Oberhuber W., W. Kofler, K. Pfeifer, A. Seeber, A. Gruber, G. Wieser (2008) Long-term changes in tree-ring climate relationships at Mt. Patscherkofel (Tyrol, Austria) since the mid-1980s. Trees 22:31-40
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