, 23:585 | Cite as

Differences in daily stem size variation and growth in two hybrid eucalypt clones

  • David Michael Drew
  • Geoffrey M. Downes
  • Valerie Grzeskowiak
  • Thimagren Naidoo
Original Paper


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.


Dendrometer Leaf area index Leaf water potential E. grandis × camaldulensis E. grandis × urophylla 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Geoff Galloway and his staff at Sappi Forests Research in KwaMbonambi for their invaluable assistance, Ms. Sasha Naidoo for help in the field on more than one occasion, Dr. Arlene Bayley for helpful comments on the manuscript, Dr. Charlie Clarke for his support and Sappi Forest Products for covering the costs of the equipment and project running, Dr. Peter Dye for helpful suggestions, Mr. Derek Hohls for assistance with setting up a database for the experiment and Zululand Fire Protection Services (ZFPS) for providing occasional weather data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Michael Drew
    • 1
    • 2
  • Geoffrey M. Downes
    • 2
  • Valerie Grzeskowiak
    • 3
  • Thimagren Naidoo
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsHobartAustralia
  3. 3.CSIR Forestry and Forest Products Research CentreCongellaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Shaw Research Centre, Sappi Forests (Pty) LtdHowickSouth Africa

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