Growth, healthy status and seed production of differently aged allochtonous and autochtonous Pinus mugo stands in the Giant Mts. over 30 years

Vacek, Stanislav; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Hejcman, Michal; Vacek, Zdeněk
November 2013
European Journal of Forest Research;Nov2013, Vol. 132 Issue 5/6, p801
Academic Journal
Plant communities with Dwarf pine ( Pinus mugo var. pumilio) form characteristic vegetation in the subalpine belt of the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, Karkonosze and Riesengebirge, Czech Republic). This “island” of arcto-alpine tundra represents the northernmost edge of Dwarf pine natural range. We asked how concentration of sulphur in needles, growth, healthy status and fructification changed over three decades (1981–2011) with different air pollution in differently aged (45–120 years) autochtonous and allochtonous (introduced from the Alps) Dwarf pine stands. Different Dwarf pine stands above the alpine timberline were able to withstand 1980s, the period of heavy air pollution, without any decrease in growth rate or remarkable decrease in healthy status. Dwarf pine is thus highly tolerant to deposition of sulphur compounds. High concentration of SO 2 in the air positively affected sulphur concentration in needles and eliminated thus sulphur deficiency. Higher germination rate of seeds in 2000s in comparison with 1980s indicate that the air pollution could decrease germination ability of seeds. High insect outbreaks (by Thecodiplosis brachyntera and Neodiprion sertifer) in 1990s and 2000s caused decrease in needle year classes. As there was a gradual increase in mean annual temperature over years 1981–2011, Dwarf pine stands can be more and more endangered by insect outbreaks in the future. There was no remarkable difference between autochtonous and allochtonous stands in all measured growth, healthy status and fructification characteristics. To determine real effects of air pollution and insect outbreaks on Dwarf pine stands from year to year fluctuations, decade-long monitoring is necessary.


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