Conifer radial growth on peat bogs in the Alpenpark Karwendel

Conifer radial growth on peat bogs in the Alpenpark Karwendel

It is well known that high water table and/or flooding are the most conspicuous disturbances causing mortality of coniferous trees near streams, lakes and mires. The focus of this study is on dendroecological reconstruction of anthropogenic impact on hydrology of several peat bogs (Raberskopf-Moor [1326 m a.s.l.], Rosskopf-Moor [1454 m a.s.l.], Halslkopf-Moor [1371 m a.s.l.], Brettersberg-Mittelleger-Moor [1312 m a.s.l.] and Pitzkopf-Moor [1503 m a.s.l.]) in the Alpenpark Karwendel (Tyrol, Austria). Tree-ring time series of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Mountain pine (Pinus mugo) growing within and at the edge of bogs were developed from increment cores and stem cross-sections (total > 340 samples). Pearson correlations were applied to explore the influence of climate factors on radial growth. Based on abrupt growth fluctuations and age structure of stands, short- and long-term changes in site conditions and periods of tree establishment caused by formation of drainage trenches could be determined, whereby lag-effects reaching 5-10 yr were found. Because growth-climate relationships indicated sensitivity of tree ring growth to temperature, climate warming might be an explanation for increasing growth rates found in recent decades. Summarizing, results revealed that anthropogenic impact occurred twice during the last century (after the end of the Second World War 1945 and after road construction in 1960) and most likely was related to an intensification of pasturing.

Funding
Österreichische Bundesforste AG
Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung, Abteilung Umweltschutz (2009-2010) 

Personnel involved
Günter Haselwanter (project co-ordinator)
Florian Schraffl
Walter Oberhuber

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