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Dušan Gömöry, Roman Longauer and Diana Krajmerová

Abstract

Climate change may endanger not only yield and fulfilling the social functions of European forests, but even the survival of several tree species. The study emphasises the complexity of climatic factors and physiological mechanisms, which may potentially endanger the persistence of tree populations and which cannot be reduced to problems of drought and temperature increase. A substantial inter-population variation in traits associated with the response to climatic stress, observed in provenance experiments, is a prerequisite for the choice of proper forest reproductive material (FRM) in reforestation as a strategy of climate-change mitigation. Assisted migration, i.e., transfer of FRM from source regions, currently characterised by such climate characteristics, which are expected in the target regions in the future, requires knowledge of key stress factors (depending on the climate scenario), physiological processes associated with the adaptation to this stress, identification of genes and eventually epigenetic mechanisms, controlling adaptation processes, and finally mapping of genetic and/or epigenetic variation in key genes. For most tree species, such information is not yet available. Therefore, assisted migration under such information uncertainty needs to be complemented by in situ gene conservation measures to preserve the possibility of reversing the effects of eventual erroneous decisions on FRM transfer.

Open access

Marian Pacalaj, Dušan Gömöry and Roman Longauer

Modelovanie dopadov prirodzenej a umelej obnovy na genetickú štruktúru: 1. nezmiešaný smrekový porast

Táto práca analyzuje priestorovú a časovú variabilitu v samčej a samičej plodnosti jedincov a ich vplyv na genetickú štruktúru potomstva v obhospodarovanom smrekovom poraste. Pre účely modelovania genetickej štruktúry a na posúdenie dopadu rôznych obnovných rubov založených na prirodzenej a umelej obnove na priestorovú genetickú štruktúru, multiplicitu, diverzitu a genotypovú štruktúru potomstva a jeho diferenciáciu od materského porastu bol použitý programový balík Eco-Gene (Degen & Gregorius & Scholz 1996). V lokalite Vyšné Hágy bola založená výskumná plocha s celkovým počtom 200 dospelých stromov. Na ploche bola zameraná pozícia každého stromu, zistená veľkosť, projekcia koruny a odhadnutá produkcia šišiek. Pomocou izoenzýmových genetických markérov z dormantných púčikov bol zistený aj genotyp každého jedinca.

Modelovaním sme porovnali vhodnosť rôznych obnovných rubov z hľadiska reprodukcie genofondu resp. genetickej štruktúry materských porastov. Základným kritériom hodnotenia bola tvorba priestorovej genetickej štruktúry, sekundárnym miera diferenciácie potomstva od materskému porastu a posledným miera genetickej variability v potomstve. Po zohľadnení týchto kritérií sa v nezmiešanom smrekovom poraste ukázal ako najvhodnejší dvojfázový okrajový clonný rub a ako najmenej vhodný (možno prekvapivo) silnejší jednotlivo výberný rub. Ostatné testované ruby - maloplošný prostý jednofázový okrajový, skupinový, skupinovitý clonný a slabší jednotlivo výberný rub sa ukázali ako stredne vhodné a mali na genofond potomstva podobný vplyv.

Open access

Marian Pacalaj, Dušan Gömöry and Roman Longauer

Modelovanie dopadov prirodzenej a umelej obnovy na genetickú štruktúru: 2. nezmiešaný jeľový porast

V príspevku je hodnotená variabilita plodnosti materských stromov a vplyv vybraných obnovných rubov v nezmiešanom poraste jedle bielej. V tomto 120-ročnom, obnovou rozpracovanom poraste na Starých Horách bola vo výške 850 m n. m. založená výskumná plocha so 165 stromami. Pozícia jednotlivých stromov bola zameraná, zistená bola ich výška, prsná hrúbka, veľkosť a projekcia koruny, početnosť šišiek v štyroch po sebe nasledujúcich rokoch a samčích strobilov v jednom roku. Pomocou izoenzýmových genetických markérov boli v 17 lokusoch určené aj genotypy všetkých stromov.

Pomocou programu Eco-Gene (Degen & Gregorius & Scholz 1996) boli postupne testované: dvojfázový okrajový, skupinový, skupinovitý clonný, jednotlivo a skupinovo výberný rub. Na ich vyhodnotenie boli použité 3 kritériá: minimálna tvorba priestorovej genetickej štruktúry v potomstve, minimálna diferenciácia potomstva od materskému porastu a zachovanie genetickej variability v potomstve. Najviac týmto kritériám vyhovoval skupinovitý clonný rub. Ostatné obnovné zásahy boli menej vhodné a ich postavenie bolo viac-menej rovnocenné.

Open access

Dušan Gömöry, Matúš Hrivnák, Diana Krajmerová and Roman Longauer

Abstract

The study reviews trait inheritance, which is in contradiction with the rules of Mendelian genetics, and which was object of controversies among biologists (sometimes with grave political consequences) in the USSR and Sovietcontrolled countries in the 1930s-1960s. “Carryover” or “memory” effects of the climate, to which maternal trees are exposed during seed development, on phenological behavior and other adaptively relevant traits of their offspring in conifers are mentioned; similar effects are associated with the germination and early growth environment. Molecular mechanisms underlying these effects include covalent modifications of DNA or DNA-associated proteins (cytosine methylation, various types of histone modifications), micro-RNAs and small interfering RNAs. Tools for the identification of these modifications are reviewed with a focus on cytosine methylation, along with an overview of the hitherto knowledge on the occurrence of DNA modifications in forest trees. The practical implications of epigenetic inheritance in forest trees are discussed with the focus on the adaptation to climate change and legislation on forest reproductive materials.

Open access

V. Foff, F. Weiser, E. Foffová and Dušan Gömöry

Abstract

The study focuses on growth responses of Larix decidua provenances to climatic transfer based on a regional provenance experiment. This comprises a series of 5 trial plots situated in Germany and Slovakia, where 12 indigenous Sudetic and West-Carpathian larch provenances are planted. Transfer rates were defined as differences in altitudes or climatic variables between the site of plantation and the site of origin. 1st and 2nd-order polynomial regressions were used for the identification of overall trends of growth performance and responses to transfer.

Sudetic provenances clearly outperformed the Carpathian ones on all test sites. When all provenances were considered jointly, height and breast-height diameter mostly showed significant monotonous geographical and climatic trends: the performance generally decreased with increasing altitude and precipitations and decreasing temperatures. The relationships between growth response and transfer rates (ecodistances) were mostly linear. However, when Sudetic and Carpathian provenances were considered separately, most significant response curves were unimodal. There is a very good correspondence between the responses in height and diameter growth within geographic groups, but the responses are not consistent between groups. Joint regression analysis showed that most provenances exhibited average stability. Stability indices are quite consistent between the response traits and did not show any association with the geographical position, climate of origin, or growth performance.

The results indicate that populations in different climates remain adapted to a common optimum, the extent of local adaptation is quite limited. Possible explanations of this observation are briefly discussed.

Open access

Erika Gömöryová, Peter Fleischer and Dušan Gömöry

Abstract

Soil microbial communities were studied in the Tatra National Park, which was affected by a windthrow in 2004 and by fire in 2005. The objective of the study was to compare the response of soil microorganisms to different management regimes on disturbed areas and to evaluate the microbial community changes during the period 2006-2013. Soil samples were taken from the A-horizon along 90 m transects on 4 plots (reference intact plot, plot with extracted wood, burnt plot, plot with fallen trees left in situ). Basal and substrateinduced respiration, microbial biomass carbon (C), nitrogen (N) mineralisation, catalase activity, and richness and diversity of microbial functional groups were determined in soil samples using the BIOLOG EcoPlates. Generally, the highest microbial activity and biomass C were revealed at the reference and fire plots. No distinct differences in microbial attributes were found between the extracted and nonextracted plots. At all windthrow plots, substrate-induced respiration, microbial biomass C and N-mineralisation showed a significant increasing linear trend with time what indicates a gradual recovery of microbial community at plots after windthrow.

Open access

Dušan Gömöry, Elena Foffová, Jaroslav Kmeť, Roman Longauer and Ivana Romšáková

Norway Spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) Provenance Variation in Autumn Cold Hardiness: Adaptation or Acclimation?

We tested autumn frost hardiness in three Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) provenances originating from different altitudes at two trial plots in Slovakia (Vel'ký Lom at 450 m a.s.l., Mútne-Zákamenné at 1,250 m a.s.l.) in a spinoff experiment of the IUFRO 1964/68 Inventory Provenance Experiment with Norway spruce. Two approaches were used to assess hardiness: the electrolyte-leakage method based on artificial freezing, and measurements of chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters. The frost injury index at -20°C differed between provenances, with a significant provenance-by-plot interaction. In material from the lower-altitude Vel'ký Lom trial plot, the high-elevation TANAP provenance exhibited much lower frost injury than the middle-elevation Habovka and low-elevation Beňuš provenances. In material from the high-altitude Mútne-Zákamenné trial plot, all three tested provenances showed approximately the same degree of frost injury. At -80°C no differences between provenances were observed, and the trees growing at the high-elevation site exhibited lower average frost injury than the trees at Vel'ký Lom. Most parameters of the kinetics of chlorophyll a fluorescence followed the same trends as frost injury, and differed significantly between plots. We suggest that the observed differences resulted from acclimation of trees to the conditions of the trial plots rather than from adaptation through natural selection.

Open access

Andrej Kormutak, Martina Brana, Peter Manka, Martin Galgoci, Jana Libantova, Vladimir Camek, Peter Bolecek and Dusan Gömöry

Abstract

Gene flow among individual trees of Pinus sylvestris and P. mugo putative hybrid swarms in Slovakia was fol-lowed at four localities using the species-diagnostic cpDNA trnV-trnH/Hinf I restriction profile. Variable proportions of P. sylvestris and P. mugo haplotypes were revealed among the sampled localities. Low between-habitus consistency of the trees and their cpDNA haplotypes indicates the hybrid nature of the swarms. Molecular analy-sis based on mutual comparison of the haplotypes of a given tree and its embryos suggests direct and recipro-cal hybridization between trees of the P. sylvestris and P. mugo haplotypes. Besides conspecific embryos resulting from hybridization of trees with the same haplotype (P. sylvestris × P. sylvestris and P. mugo × P. mugo), hybrid embryos of P. sylvestris × P. mugo (8.03%) and P. mugo × P. sylvestris (11.50%) were also detected in open-pollinated offspring. The results are discussed from the standpoint of primary and introgressive hybridization between the parental species.

Open access

Andrej Kormutak, Martina Brana, Martin Galgoci, Peter Manka, Denisa Sukenikova, Jana Libantova and Dusan Gömöry

Abstract

Generally acknowledged reduction of the interspecific hybrid fertility was utilized in evaluation of the putative hybrid swarms of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and mountain dwarf pine (P. mugo Turra) viability under field conditions. Pollen viability and seed quality of the trees from the four contact zones of P. syl­vestris and P. mugo in Slovakia were compared with the corres­ponding characteristics of the pure populations of these spe­cies from three reference localities. Pollen germination percentage was comparable in contact zones and control populations of the species. Statistically significant differences between the parent and hybrid groups were detected in pollen tube length only. In general, pollen tubes of the pure species populations were longer than those in contact zones. At the cone level, the individuals from contact zones possessed shor­ter cones than the trees of pure species populations P. mugo and P. sylvestris. This was paralleled by a lower number of seeds per cone in contact zones and higher amount of seeds per cone in the P. mugo population. Striking differences between individuals of the contact zones and reference populations were revealed also in germination potentials of their seeds. Significantly higher proportions of germinating seeds was found in the reference populations of P. mugo and P. sylvestris than in their contact zones. Contrary to seed quality parame­ters mentioned above, the fractions of filled but non-germina­ting seeds and amounts of empty seeds were higher in contact zones than in the parental species populations, indicating hig­her frequency occurrence of abortive embryogenesis in the former. The lower fertility characteristics of the individuals from contact zones indicate their hybrid nature.