Intra-annual Secondary Growth Rate-Climate Relations of Fagus orientalis Lipsky in the Center of Hyrcanian Forests
Weekly rate of Beech tree ring increment were related to the changes of climatic factors in weekly intervals. In order to do so, small samples were extracted from 5 Oriental beech trees located in Nowshahr educational forest in the central part of the Hyrcanian forests of Iran during 2008 growing season. Microscopic sections were prepared and average increases in tree ring width were measured, standardized and modeled using Gompertz equation. The results showed that the minimum air temperature and water evaporation had the strongest and positive effect on the secondary growth rate while the role of precipitation was minor and negative. Air temperature and evaporation variations during growing season were assumed to remain in their optimum level; increasing xylem formation by accelerating carbohydrate production and carbon uptake of trees, respectively. Since the studied site had warm and humid climate receiving sufficient amount of rainfall before and during growing season, water availability was not a limiting factor of radial growth and its minor negative relation was interpreted according to its small hampering effect on the air temperature and sunlight absorption of trees. It was concluded that meteorological factors affecting secondary growth rate of trees should be interpreted as a package rather than analyzed disconnectedly.
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