Differences in daily stem size variation and growth in two hybrid eucalypt clones
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- Drew, D.M., Downes, G.M., Grzeskowiak, V. et al. Trees (2009) 23: 585. doi:10.1007/s00468-008-0303-y
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Understanding daily stem size variation is important as the net increment of a forest stand is ultimately determined by the accumulation of daily increment events. In this study, measurements of stem size at high spatial and temporal resolution were made using two commercial hybrid Eucalyptus clones [E. grandis × urophylla (GU) and E. grandis × camaldulensis (GC)] over a period of more than 3.5 years in order to better understand how daily stem growth is effected by variations in environmental conditions. It was evident that GU had fewer days on which net growth occurred than GC. However, when growth did occur, GU grew for longer each day and at a higher rate than GC. Thus, it still had an overall larger net stem increment during the study period. The GU clone had a markedly intermittent pattern of growth, such that growth essentially ceased under drought conditions, but responded rapidly when water became available. This confirms other findings that E. grandis × urophylla is more susceptible to drought stress than E. grandis × camaldulensis, but emphasizes that a strategy of “rapid response” when environmental conditions become temporarily non-limiting is a good one in terms of net increment at sites such as in this study.