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Rapid Assessment of Key Structural Elements of Different Vegetation Types of West African Savannas in Burkina Faso

Abstract

Estimations of Leaf Area Index (LAI) have recently gained attention due to the sensitivity to the effects of climate change and its impact on forest ecosystems. Hence, a study was conducted on the LAI estimation of four vegetation types: (i) gallery forests, (ii) woodland savannas, (iii) tree savannas, and (iv) shrub savannas, at two protected areas of Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve, Burkina Faso. A relationship between LAI and Crown Diameter was also investigated at these two sites. Digital hemispherical photography was used for the LAI estimation. Crown diameters (CD) were determined perpendicular to each other and averaged for each tree and shrub. Overall results revealed that LAI ranged from 0-1.33 and the CD was recorded in the range of 0.46-11.01 m. The gallery forests recorded the highest mean LAI 1.33 ± 0.32 as well as the highest mean CD 7.69 ± 1.90 m. The LAI for the vegetation types were at their lower ends as the study was conducted in summer season, higher values are therefore expected in the wet season, as a significant correlation between LAI and precipitation has been emphasized by various studies. Continuous LAI monitoring and studies on various growth parameters of different vegetation types at the study sites are recommended towards enhanced monitoring and an ecologically feasible forest- and savanna-use and management to maintain essential ecosystem functions and services.

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Relationships between selected tree characteristics and the properties of juvenile wood in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine relationships between selected properties of juvenile wood and characteristics of the stem and crown of Scots pine. Analyses were conducted in northern Poland on eight mature pine monocultures. Nine trees were selected in each experimental site and their stems were divided into five sections. The centers of the sections were established at a height of 1.3 m from the tree base and at points corresponding to 20, 40, 60 and 80% tree height. Samples were taken from these locations, and these samples were prepared for analyses of basic density, compressive strength along the grain and static bending, as well as the modulus of elasticity during bending. The mean height of the investigated group of trees was 26.0 m with an average diameter breast high of 33.6 cm. The mean crown depth was 7.8 m and crown diameter was 3.6 m, and the mean basic density (Qu) of juvenile pine wood was 416 kg/m3. The average compressive strength along the grain (CS) was determined to be 22.3 MPa, while static bending strength (BS) was 45.8 MPa. The recorded modulus of elasticity (MOE) was 4726 MPa.

Both in general terms and when dividing stems into sections, the wood properties correlated with tree characteristics to various degrees. All indexes were negative indicating that trees of greater dimensions produce juvenile wood of inferior quality. Properties of juvenile wood formed during various periods of tree life were mostly related to diameter breast high and crown depth. They were also correlated with tree height, but only to a limited extent. In contrast, properties of wood from the middle stem sections were significantly correlated with crown diameter.

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The relationship between height and crown characteristics of four-year-old common birch (Betula pendula Roth)

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an analysis on characteristics of birch crowns (Betula pendula Roth) in relation to measures of the growth space occupied by a single tree at a young age. It also presents the relationships between the seedling height and certain crown characteristics. The study focused on four-year-old common birches growing in four different areas in the Elk Forest District in either fresh mixed coniferous or broadleaved forest. The measurements conducted on the chosen trees were used to calculate their crown characteristics such as crown diameter, length, height to the crown base, relative length and spread. They were also used to determine the growth characteristics of a single tree’s growth space, such as the crown area projected onto the ground, single tree space and the percentage use of unit area. Furthermore, fresh and dry leaf mass was determined. The birches growing in the fresh mixed coniferous forest reached an average height of 1.30 m, whereas in the fresh mixed broadleaved forest, the height of the trees was lower and amounted to 0.67 m. 95% of the trees had crown diameters of 0.57 m to 0.74 m in the fresh mixed coniferous forest, but only 0.19 m to 0.25 m in the fresh mixed broadleaved forest. The average lengths of the crowns in the fresh mixed coniferous and broadleaved forests amounted to 0.97 m and 0.37 m respectively. The author shows that there is a statistically significant correlation between the seedling height and the other examined characteristics. The best correlation was found between the height and the length of the crown (r = 0.9858) for birches growing in the fresh mixed coniferous forest and between the height and single tree space (r = 0.8468) for birches growing in the fresh mixed broadleaved forest.

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Analysis of Ecology of a Little Known White Oak Quercus Polycarpa Schur, Using Geobiocoenological Typology

Analysis of Ecology of a Little Known White Oak Quercus Polycarpa Schur, Using Geobiocoenological Typology

Quercus polycarpa Schur is a little known oak species of the Sessile Oak aggregate (Quercus petraea s. lat.). Different habitats were studied using geobiocoenological typology system in order to investigate its ecology. In total, 65 experimental plots were set in forest stands with Q. polycarpa in the main storey in 12 protected areas situated in south-east of the Czech Republic. Ecological conditions, basic tree parameters and representation of Q. polycarpa within other oak species were evaluated on each plot. The mean values of height, height of life crown setting, stem and crown diameter were related to sub-categories of geobiocoenological system and compared by one-way ANOVA and Scheffé post-hoc test. It has been found out that Q. polycarpa grow in a high number in the 2nd altitudinal zone. It often occurs in a variety of habitats with different hydric and trophic conditions. As expected, the lowest values of measured parameters were found in the dry hydric range, this species reaches the highest values in the normal hydric and mesic ranges.

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Basic density and crown parameters of forest forming species within Steppe zone in Ukraine

Abstract

The parameters of wood density (WD), bark density (BD) and tree crown characteristics are not only important for estimation of the aboveground biomass, but they also serve as indicators for the timber quality. This study had two objectives: Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) – an introduced species; Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) – an aboriginal species. Black locust and Scots pine from the Steppe zone in Ukraine were compared in their WD and BD, and in the morphological parameters of their tree crowns. There were determined basic WD and BD for differently aged individuals of Black locust and Scots pine. Generally, a higher WD was found for Black locust trees. The average Black locust WD was 518 kg m−3, ranging from 375 kg m−3 to 612 kg m−3; with the average BD – 294 kg m−3, ranging from 214 kg m−3 to 421 kg m−3. The average Scots pine WD was 414 kg m−3, ranging from 254 to 491 kg m−3; with average BD – 317 kg m−3, ranging from 178 to 433 kg m−3. The dependences between WD, BD and biometric tree parameters were identified by correlation analysis. The crown diameter for Black locust and Scots pine was described with fixed prediction models. We proposed particular equations for relationships between foliage biomass and branch biomass, derived from the crown volume of the investigated species.

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The Role of Habitat Types and Soil Physicochemical Properties in the Spread of a Non Native Shrub Lantana Camara in the Doon Valley, Western Himalaya, India

Abstract

Invasive alien species colonize very aggressively and forcefully, menacing native biodiversity. The success of invasive alien plants is due to their opportunistic exploitation of anthropogenic disturbances, the absence of natural enemies, free from herbivory and frequently their allelopathic competition. Invasive species can have a significant impact on development, affecting sustainability of livelihood, food security and essential ecosystem services and dynamics. Lantana camara is a documented weed of worldwide significance; it is indigestible due to its toxic chemicals and highly competitive. In this study physicochemical properties of soil were analysed from different high and low Lantana infested areas. Significant site effect was frequently observed than effect due to invasion status. The present study tested the impact of soil properties in the measured and calculated attributes of Lantana by randomly sampling soil from the highly invaded and less invaded sites in different habitats using the Modified Whittaker plot design. Results indicated that edaphic factors such as soil pH, total nitrogen, soil organic carbon, phosphorus and potassium content positively influenced the growth of Lantana and helped in its own further invasion process. These factors were also positively influencing the measured and calculated attributes of Lantana such as canopy coverage, average crown diameter, shrub canopy area, phytovolume and biomass from all sites. However some attributes like shrub height and stem diameter were negatively influenced by these soil factors. The present results show that Lantana invasion can significantly improve the soil nutrient level but also positively increasing the chances of its further invasion with more copious plant attributes.

Open access
Results of a Study of the Vegetative Growth, Yield and Fruit Quality of Different Grafting Combinations of the Apple Cultivar ‘Krista’

Abstract

Long-term field trials with the apple cultivar ‘Krista’ on different vegetative rootstocks were held at the Polli Horticultural Research Centre (58°07`N, 25°32`E) in Southern Estonia in 2005-2015. Trees were grafted on 13 rootstocks: M26, M27, P59, E75, B9, B396, B491, MTT1, Supporter 1, Supporter 2, Supporter 3, Supporter 4, and MM106. The apple cultivar ‘Krista’ is well suited for growing in the climatic and soil conditions of Estonia. The cultivar performs best on vegetative rootstocks that are well-adapted to the Estonian climate: MM106, E75, B396, M26, M27, and P59. The rootstocks Supporter 1, Supporter 2, Supporter 3, and Supporter 4 did not turn out to be suited for growing in Estonia. The trees grafted on rootstocks MM106, E75, MTT1, and M26 grew taller, had a bigger crown spread and crown volume. In dense orchards with the planting scheme 4 × 1.5 m, trees with a smaller crown diameter may be grown on rootstocks MM27, P59, and Supporter 4. During the trial, the largest yields were harvested from trees grafted onto rootstocks MM106, MTT1, B396, M26, E75, and B9. Some rootstock combinations appeared to be positively related to average fruit weight in some years, but the same cannot be concluded for the whole duration of the trial.

Open access
Flora diversity in burned forest areas in Dehdez, Iran

Abstract

Flora identified within a region plays an important role in maintaining national natural reserves. Iran is one of the most important centers of plant diversity in the Old World (22% endemic species of 8000 plant species). Dehdez burned forest area is located in the southeastern Khuzestan province. The field data were obtained from 115 sample plots in a systematic random grid (20 m × 20 m). The attributes such as tree and shrub species type, the number of species and canopy coverage were recorded. Within each sample plot small and large crown diameters were measured. In order to record herbaceous species, the Whitaker’s snail plot method was applied (100 m² minimum plot area). In this study, 240 plant species were assessed and identified to 158 genera and 42 families. Asteraceae family with 33 species, Papilionaceae with 32 species, Poaceae with 29 species, Apiaceae w ith 27 s pecies a nd Lamiaceae with 18 species prevailed and constituted 57.9% of all the plants observed. Investigation of species life forms showed that Hemicryptophyte plants were most important. Chorological study showed that species found in Irano-Turanian and Common areas of Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean eruption were the most important ecological groups in the region, while other chorotypes were positioned far from the next in importance.

Open access
The current growth increment of pine tree stands comprising three different age classes

Abstract

The study presents the results of an analysis of the pine tree growth increments (height increment, dbh increment, basal area increment and volume increment) for a 5-year period. The study involved Scots pine trees of Kraft’s class 1, 2 and 3 (dominant stand) in stands of different age classes (II, III, V) growing in fresh mixed coniferous (BMśw) and fresh coniferous (Bśw) forest habitats. The multivariate analysis of variance was performed to assess the statistical significance of age and dominance of trees within a stand on their increment. The dominance position was classified for each tree using Kraft’s criteria. The following characteristic were also measured: dbh of the trunk in two directions (N-S and W-E), and crown projection area on the basis of the characteristic tree crown points, projected using of a crown projector, characteristic points in tree crowns (7 to 14 on average). The actual height was determined after trees were felled. The following measurements of the single tree growing space were selected and determined: crown projection area - pk (m2), crown diameter - dk (m), Seebach’s growth space number - dk / d1.3, crown projection area to basal area ratio d 2 k / d 2 1.3, crown deflection coefficient dk / h, single tree space ppd = pk·h (m3). We assessed the strength of the relationships between tree growth parameters and tree growth space, crown length, relative crown length and slenderness. Both the age and dominance position of trees within the stand affected the growth increments. The strongest correlation among measured traits was between the 5-year volume increment and decreasing slenderness.

Open access
An evaluation of the ecosystem services provided by urban trees: The role of Krasiński Gardens in air quality and human health in Warsaw (Poland)

Abstract

Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through leaf stomata. However, to date, we have rather few empirical studies on the magnitude and value of the effects of trees on air quality and human health, especially especially within the climatic conditions of Central Europe. To investigate the significance of urban trees from the point of view of air pollution removal, an i-Tree Eco model was implemented. The results indicate that the 932 trees in Krasiński Gardens (Warsaw, Poland) absorb 267.12 kg of pollutants per year: 149.9 kg of O3, 94.4 kg of NO2, 11.8 kg of SO2 and 10.9 kg of PM2.5. That makes an average removal per tree (calculated by summarizing the values of all of the pollutants) of 0.287 kg/year. Furthermore, health values were used to estimate their pollution removal services in monetary terms. The total benefit of air purification by trees in Krasiński Gardens is estimated at 26250 PLN/year with an average value per tree of: 28 PLN. Although PM2.5 removal is the lowest among the four air pollutants analysed, accounting for only 4% of the total mass reduction, it provides 69% of the total economic value. The benefit associated with absorption of O3 provided 28% of the value, with the absorption of NO2 and SO2 at just 3%. The results also show that large tree species (with a crown diameter of 14-15m) can provide around 10 times higher benefits, than small ones (5-6m).

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