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Article

The European Heat Wave 2018: The Dendroecological Response of Oak and Spruce in Western Germany

1
DeLaWi Tree–Ring Analyses, Preschlinallee 2, 51570 Windeck, Germany
2
Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
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Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing & Faculty of Geography, University of Marburg, Deutschhausstraße 12, 35037 Marburg, Germany
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Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Agrosphere Institute (IBG-3), 52425 Jülich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2021, 12(3), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030283
Received: 8 December 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 2 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The European heat wave of 2018 was characterized by extraordinarily dry and hot spring and summer conditions in many central and northern European countries. The average temperatures from June to August 2018 were the second highest since 1881. Accordingly, many plants, especially trees, were pushed to their physiological limits. However, while the drought and heat response of field crops and younger trees have been well investigated in laboratory experiments, little is known regarding the drought and heat response of mature forest trees. In this study, we compared the response of a coniferous and a deciduous tree species, located in western and central–western Germany, to the extreme environmental conditions during the European heat wave of 2018. Combining classic dendroecological techniques (tree–ring analysis) with measurements of the intra–annual stem expansion (dendrometers) and tree water uptake (sap flow sensors), we found contrasting responses of spruce and oak trees. While spruce trees developed a narrow tree ring in 2018 combined with decreasing correlations of daily sap flow and dendrometer parameters to the climatic parameters, oak trees developed a ring with above–average tree–ring width combined with increasing correlations between the daily climatic parameters and the parameters derived from sap flow and the dendrometer sensors. In conclusion, spruce trees reacted to the 2018 heat wave with the early completion of their growth activities, whereas oaks appeared to intensify their activities based on the water content in their tree stems. View Full-Text
Keywords: dendrometer; sap flow; daily correlations; tree–ring width; physiological response dendrometer; sap flow; daily correlations; tree–ring width; physiological response
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MDPI and ACS Style

Neuwirth, B.; Rabbel, I.; Bendix, J.; Bogena, H.R.; Thies, B. The European Heat Wave 2018: The Dendroecological Response of Oak and Spruce in Western Germany. Forests 2021, 12, 283. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030283

AMA Style

Neuwirth B, Rabbel I, Bendix J, Bogena HR, Thies B. The European Heat Wave 2018: The Dendroecological Response of Oak and Spruce in Western Germany. Forests. 2021; 12(3):283. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030283

Chicago/Turabian Style

Neuwirth, Burkhard, Inken Rabbel, Jörg Bendix, Heye R. Bogena, and Boris Thies. 2021. "The European Heat Wave 2018: The Dendroecological Response of Oak and Spruce in Western Germany" Forests 12, no. 3: 283. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030283

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