GEOLINKS International Conference 2019, Book 3
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
PHENOTYPIC DIFFERENCES IN WIND-RESISTANCE TRAITS BETWEEN TWO BIRCH SPECIES IN HEMIBOREAL FORESTS, LATVIA
Mg. Eduards Racenis, Dr. Roberts Matisons, Mg. Oskars Krisans, Mg. Raitis Rieksts-Riekstins, Dr. Aris Jansons
Birch species have excellent natural regeneration and their share is increasing in hemiborea forests, especially in the Baltic States and western Russia. Thus, it is important to develop recommendations for the management of birch stands to reduce major risk – wind damages. Number of factors are affecting probability of wind damages for a tree. Aim of our study was to assess the potential differences in those traits between silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) and downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) To comprehend if the same recommendations for damage reduction could be used.
Data on above-ground biomass and branch parameters by 1m sections were collected from 16 Silver birch and 12 downy birch trees at the age of 63 years (c.a. 10 years before the final harvest). The height of the mass point of the aboveground part of trees was determined.
The relative height of mass point was not significantly affected by tree diameter (ranging from 15 to 25 cm) or birch species and was ranging from 35.21 to 35.51% of tree height. Also, mean lower border of the green crown or the branch length in the middle of the green crown differed between both birch species. Thus we can conclude, that both birch species will have similar wind resistance based on their above-ground phenotypic traits.
natural disturbances, storm damages, resilience, windfirm trees