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Forests 2015, 6(3), 581-593; doi:10.3390/f6030581

A 20-Year Overview of Quercus robur L. Mortality and Crown Conditions in Slovenia

Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Academic Editors: Timothy A. Martin and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
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Abstract

Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) forests in Slovenia are experiencing widespread mortality. Changes in lowlands are reflected in decline of complete forest complexes, high mortality, uneven stand structure and associated forest regeneration problems. Prediction of the present-tree response in disturbed forest ecosystems may significantly contribute to better guideline policies for the silvicultural and forest management practice in the changing environment in both stressed and stabile forest ecosystems. Data from annual crown condition surveys for the 1995–2014 period from four permanent plots have been compared with parameters from hemispherical photo analysis and hydrometeorological data. Good agreement has been confirmed between crown defoliation and total openness; all parameters from the hemispherical photo analysis, which were corrected for winter period values, also indicated a better agreement. Mortality rate and crown defoliation correlated well with extreme drought events in 2003 and 2013. Pattern of agreement among compared parameters was different for the plots Krakovski gozd, Dobrava and some other plots. Mortality is influenced by the average air temperatures much more than by precipitation and groundwater table oscillations. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedunculate oak; crown conditions; mortality; drought; lowland forests; climate pedunculate oak; crown conditions; mortality; drought; lowland forests; climate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Čater, M. A 20-Year Overview of Quercus robur L. Mortality and Crown Conditions in Slovenia. Forests 2015, 6, 581-593.

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