Trees

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 1091–1100

Temporal shifts in leaf phenology of beech (Fagus sylvatica) depend on elevation

  • Katarina Čufar
  • Martin De Luis
  • Miguel Angel Saz
  • Zalika Črepinšek
  • Lučka Kajfež-Bogataj
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-012-0686-7

Cite this article as:
Čufar, K., De Luis, M., Saz, M.A. et al. Trees (2012) 26: 1091. doi:10.1007/s00468-012-0686-7

Abstract

We analyzed the leaf phenology of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and its variation due to spatial and temporal climatic variability, using a modified data set of the phenological network in Slovenia. We used first leaf unfolding (LU) and general leaf colouring (LC) time series of 47 sites (altitudes from 55 to 1,050 m a.s.l.) and corresponding climate series (52 of precipitation and 38 of temperature) for the period 1955–2007, collected by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia. Across the network in average, LU occurred from 14 April until 13 May, and LC from 3 October until 29 October. LU was delayed by 2.6 days and LC was promoted by 1.9 days when the altitude increased by 100 m. Year-to-year variation of LU was significantly correlated with March and April temperatures. March temperatures had a greater effect at lower elevations and April ones at higher elevations. LC was related to August and September temperatures, and occurred later if the temperatures were higher. Recently, March and April temperatures showed an increasing trend and LU occurred 1.52 days earlier per decade at 1,000 m a.s.l. but no significant shifts were observed at lower altitudes. August temperatures were also increasing but the trends of LC were not significant and were not clearly related to altitude. Our detailed sub-regional data from a relatively small area with high geographic variability showed that changes in climate affect phenological response, mainly leaf unfolding, to a greater degree at higher altitudes than at lower ones.

Keywords

European beech (Fagus sylvatica)PhenologyTemperatureLeaf unfoldingLeaf colouringClimate change

Supplementary material

468_2012_686_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (56 kb)
Geographical coordinates of 47 study sites and average values (day of the year DOY) of first leaf unfolding (LU) and general leaf colouring (LC) as well as mean monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation sums and temperatures at each site for the period 1955–2007. (PDF 56 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katarina Čufar
    • 1
  • Martin De Luis
    • 2
  • Miguel Angel Saz
    • 2
  • Zalika Črepinšek
    • 3
  • Lučka Kajfež-Bogataj
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Wood Science and Technology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Agronomy Department, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia