Drought resistance and climate-sensitive intra-annual growth dynamics of Douglas-fir provenances

The main scopes of the project are:

To enable access to existing mature experiment stands of documented Douglas-fir provenances, to facilitate measurement campaigns in the stands, and to provide the project partners with data and sample material from these stands for joint analysis (FVA-WW).

The major objective of the funded forest growth analysis is to detect the vulnerability of Douglas-fir provenances under changing climatic conditions. Climate induced variations in intra-annual growth dynamics are the main focus of the research done in P3. Dendroecological methods and approaches will be further developed and applied. Growth responses to climatic variations are modified by genetics. Along this line differences in cambial activity between different provenances will be assessed in order to detect provenance specific differences in drought resistance. A focus will be set on climatic extremes such as heat and drought. Growth patterns will be studied on different spatial and temporal scales. The sensitivity as well as the elasticity of growth under climate change conditions will be assessed for each provenance on selected sites. The analysis focus on the interrelations between growth pattern, microstructures of annual wood density profiles and the weather conditions. For a better understanding of the wood formation under changing climatic conditions cell structure data and dendrometer measurements will be integrated in the analysis. By combining electronic point dendrometer measurements with intra-annual wood characteristics a direct link between temporal and spatial wood formation can be accomplished (UFR-IWW).

Further forest growth analysis suggested in the original proposal had been targeted at possible provenance-specific differences in inter-annual (mid- to long-term) growth responses, macro-phenotype expression (e.g. stem/crown architecture, heartwood), and the development of a climate-sensitive growth simulation system. However, the DFG-referees have judged investigations into these aspects to be of minor importance only and therefore negligible. As a consequence, the investigations have not been allotted the necessary funding and had to be omitted from the DFG-project.


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