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Modelling Effects of Weather Condition on Seasonal Dynamics of the Stem Circumference Increment in a Mixed Stand of Norway Spruce and European Beech

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This study was aimed at modelling seasonal variation of stem circumference increments in a mixed stand composed of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Moreover, we focused on the quantification of the main climatic factors governing the increments. The measurements were performed at a site established at about 970 m a.s.l. from the locality of Vrchslatina (Central Slovakia). Data was collected from 20 European beech trees and 20 Norway spruce trees, from 2009 to 2012. The increments (measured at 130 cm above ground level) were recorded circa biweekly using manual band dendrometers. Lognormal function was used for the modelling of the seasonal trend of the increments. Hourly-based records of climatic variables such as air temperature, precipitation, and derived vapour pressure deficit were used for the modelling. The effect of climatic parameters on the seasonal variations of the increments was tested by including them directly into the lognormal function. The results suggest that while the sum of precipitation was a better predicting factor for spruce, the mean temperature was the better predictor for beech. In addition, both temperature and vapour pressure deficits also had an effect on the increments of spruce, but these parameters did not contribute to the explanation of the variability of increments for beech. Overall, the variability clarified by the final model was 72% for spruce and 78% for beech. At the same time, climatic parameters as a part of the model helped to explain 10% of the variability for the spruce (precipitations) and 3% of the variability for the beech (temperature). We also found lower variability in the increments of beech compared to spruce. This suggests that for the specific site conditions spruce are more sensitive to environmental conditions than beech

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Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other