Responses of species-specific sap flux, transpiration and water use efficiency of pspruce and birch trees to temporarily moderate dry periods in mixed forests at a dry and wet forest site in the hemi-boreal zone

Manuela Baumgarten, Benjamin D. Hesse, Ingrida Augustaitienė, Vitas Marozas, Gintautas Mozgeris, Steigvilė Byčenkienė, Genrik Mordas, Ainis Pivoras, Gintaras Pivoras, Diana Juonytė, Vidmantas Ulevičius, Algirdas Augustaitis, Rainer Matyssek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Predicted climate changings can affect hemi-boreal forests especially for soil conditions with low water-holding capacity and susceptibility to soil water deficits. In our study, species-specific sap flux, transpiration and water use efficiency of growth (WUE) were investigated at a mixed hemi-boreal forest ecosystems, especially during temporary moderate dry periods in the main growing season. Therefore, two representative forest sites with different drought susceptibility were selected in Northwest-Lithuania. The aim of our investigations was to identify the responsible factors influencing transpiration and WUE from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L. H. Karst.) and birch (silver birch: Betula pendula Roth. and downy birch: B. pubescens Ehrh.) during temporary drought incidents at a water-limited, oligitrophic sand dominated forest site and at a water saturated, mesoeutrophic organic peat forest site for the whole vegetation period and two moderate short-term drought incidents in 2016. During the dry periods Norway spruce trees exhibited lowest sap flux compared to Scot pine and birch while similarly showing highest WUE. Up-scaled to a virtual pure stand none of the species were differing in species specific transpiration. Thus, we found no evidence for extended drought sensitivity of Norway spruce at the water limited site during the first investigation year. Sap flux of Scots pine trees was more or less constantly high during the main growing season and the dry periods at both plots, while WUE was quite low during the “dry periods”. Thus, we assume that Scots pine trees are less affected by temporarily drought events than Norway spruce. Birch trees exhibited significantly highest sap flux during dry periods at the water limited site whereas quite low WUE was not differing between sites. Thus, birch may compete with Scots pine trees at the study sites in terms of water consumption and growth in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-29
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Agricultural Meteorology
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Mixed pine-spruce-birch forests
  • Short-term drought
  • Species specific transpiration
  • Water use efficiency
  • Xylem sap flow

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