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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.

Abstract

Cracks expose wood to fungal infections that significantly affects wood quality, while rapid wound occlusion decreases probability of infections. Assessment of scars was done at four grade scale in three adjacent hybrid aspen trials at the age of 8-10 years in central part of Latvia three years after bark crack occurrence. Occluded wounds were found for 95% of damaged trees, regardless of tree age. Among trees that had cracks wider than 1 cm, 42% had uniformly healed bark, but 7% still had open wounds. Wound development was significantly affected by crack width and length (both p < 0.001), but had no clear relation with tree DBH (diameter at breast height) and relative DBH increment (both p > 0.05). At clonal mean level, scar grade was significantly affected by grade of crack three years earlier and clone (both p < 0.001), but mean DBH of clone had no relation (p > 0.05) to proportion of trees evaluated by any of the scar grades. The results suggest that three years after the bark crack formation most of them had successfully occluded and selection of clones with better diameter growth has no influence on development of cracks.