Methods for Quantification of the Decline Phenomenon and Determination of the Vulnerability Degree for the Oak Stands in Northwestern Transylvania, Romania
AbstractThe decline phenomenon of stands can be defined as the totality of effects that damage the normal vegetation state of trees and stands. There are two types of decline, the acute one, with fast development, and the chronical one, with slow development in space and time. The accurate capture of the phenomenon has direct implications for the forest management measures. A first step in this direction is the analysis of the development type and of its dynamics. Forests which have Quercus species in composition are affected more by this phenomenon. There were identified oak stands presenting decline phenomenon in 9 Forest Districts in Northwestern Transylvania and 22 experimental plots were analyzed. These plots were located in middle aged stands that were affected in different ways. The study was performed during 2013-2015 and focused on crown level assessments of trees, taking into consideration the shape and size, defoliations, percentage of dead or missing slender branches, number of dead thick branches, presence of epicormic branches or dormant buds on the stem, presence of pathogens or pests. These elements were used for calculating some technical indicators of the health and vegetation state: degree of dieback, damage and devitalization, synthetic index damage, annual mortality rate. In 7 out of 22 stands, the overcoming of the incipient stage and beginning of active dieback stage was observed. The strongest correlation occurred between the annual mortality rate and the synthetic index damage.
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