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Linking phenological data to ecophysiology of European beech

Urban, J., Bednářová, E., Plichta, R., Kučera, J.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.991 pp. 293-299
Fagus sylvatica subsp. sylvatica, autumn, ecophysiology, heat, leaf area, photosynthetically active radiation, physiological state, sap flow, spring, transmittance, trees, Czech Republic
Phenological observations and ecophysiological measurements were conducted in a 45-year-old European beech stand in the Drahanská vrchovina (the Czech Republic). Ecophysiological studies included sap flow measurements on stem using trunk heat balance method, transmittance of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and stem volume changes. Sap flow was tightly connected to the phenological stage of the tree and to other ecophysiological measurements. Utilization of instrumental techniques better specified tree physiological status and phenophase than pure observations and qualified guess. Onset of spring phenological stages (i.e., leaf area development) was easily identifiable from sap flow measurements, dendrometer readings and PAR transmittance. Given longer duration of autumn development and higher variability in external factors, autumn phenological stages were not as easy to identify as spring stages, however, they were still projected into the long term ecophysiology. We conclude that ecophysiological measurements provide additional value in objectification of phenological studies, and phenological observations can help to interpret ecophysiological measurements and thus to help to underlying physiological processes.