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The impact of the 2003 summer drought on the intra-annual growth pattern of beech (Fagus sylvatica l.) and oak (Quercus robur L.) on a dry site in the Netherlands

By G.W. van der Werf, U. Sass-Klaassen and G.M.J. Mohren


Climate change is expected to result in more extreme weather conditions over large parts of Europe, such as the prolonged drought of 2003. As water supply is critical for tree growth on many sites in North-Western Europe, such droughts will affect growth, species competition, and forest dynamics. To be able to assess the susceptibility of tree species to climate change, it is necessary to understand growth responses to climate, at a high temporal resolution. We therefore studied the intra-annual growth dynamics of three beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.) and five oak trees (Quercus robur L.) growing on a sandy site in the east of the Netherlands for 2 years: 2003 (oak and beech) and 2004 (oak). Microcores were taken at 2-week intervals from the end of April until the end of October. Intra-annual tree-ring formation was compared with prior and contemporary records of precipitation and temperature from a nearby weather station. The results indicate that oak and beech reacted differently to the summer drought in 2003. During the drought, wood formation in both species ceased, but in beech, it recovered after the drought. The causes of species-specific differences in intra-annual wood formation are discussed in the context of susceptibility to drough

Year: 2007
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Provided by: NARCIS
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