Reactions to gap emergence: Norway spruce increases growth while european beech features horizontal space occupation – evidence by repeated 3D TLS measurements

Dominik Bayer, Hans Pretzsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reach of different tree species’ crowns and the velocity of gap closure during the occupation of canopy gaps resulting from mortality and thinning during stand development determine species-specific competition and productivity within forest stands. However, classical dendrometric methods are rather inaccurate or even incapable of time- and cost-effectively measuring 3D tree structure, crown dynamics and space occupation non-destructively. Therefore, we applied terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in order to measure the structural dynamics at tree and stand level from gap cutting in 2006 until 2012 in pure and mixed stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). In conclusion, our results suggest that Norway spruce invests newly available above-ground resources primarily into DBH as well as biomass growth and indicate a stronger resilience against loss of crown mass induced by mechanical damage. European beech showed a vastly different reaction, investing gains from additional above-ground resources primarily into faster occupation of canopy space. Whether our sample trees were located in pure or mixed groups around the gaps had no significant impact on their behavior during the years after gap cutting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7748
JournalSilva Fennica
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Crown allometry
  • Crown expansion
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Gap dynamics
  • Growing area competition
  • Growing space efficiency
  • Picea abies
  • TLS

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