Spring and autumn phenology in sub-mesothermal beech stands from the southwestern extremity of the Carpathians
Keywords:beech; buds burst; flowering; leaves senescence; phenology
The research carried out was aimed to assessing the phenological behavior of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in the southwestern area of the Carpathians, in submesothermal forest sites, differentiated from the majority mesothermal ones of this species. The data obtained may be used for predicting the phenological changes of the species, especially in the Carpathian area, under the future influence of expected climate change. Assessments for spring and autumn phenology (buds burst -BB and foliation, flowering and leaves senescence) were carried out on a transect with a difference in altitude of 1000 meters, in phenological research areas located at 200 m, 700 m and 1200 m. At each altitude level, 100 trees of I and II Kraft classes were phenologically characterized: 50 trees on the south-facing slope (sunny exposure) and 50 on the north-facing slope (shade exposure).The phenological data were interpreted in relation to climate data recorded in each area by a HOBO U23 Pro v2 sensor. The site conditions of submesothermal climate in the low altitude area led to DOY (day of the year) values below 100. The phenological differentiation of populations is evident in relation with the altitude, while at the same altitudinal level the influence of the exposure was much lower. The gradiental values by altitude sectors highlighted the nonlinearity of the development of foliation phenophase, the value being lower in the first 500 m, where the beech is under the impact of the submesothermal climate. It has been proven both the dependence of the foliation onset depending on the cumulation of temperatures in relation to the DOY moment and also on the values recorded throughout the vegetative rest. The altitudinal gradiental values resulting for flowering in the first and second altitudinal half of transect also differentiate the stands, but are lower than that resulting for BB. The leaves senescence has a delay of 1.8 up to 2.4 days per 100 meters altitude, and the length of the vegetation season is reduced more sharply in the upper half of the analyzed altitudinal transect. The sub-mesothermal climate could be involved in condensation of spring phenophases in the stands of the lower half of the researched area. Our data may be used for predicting the phenological changes, especially in the Carpathian area, under the expected climate change.
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