Cambial growth dynamics and climatic control of different tree life forms in tropical mountain forest in Ethiopia
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- Krepkowski, J., Bräuning, A., Gebrekirstos, A. et al. Trees (2011) 25: 59. doi:10.1007/s00468-010-0460-7
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Munessa Forest is a mountain forest in south-eastern Ethiopia experiencing seasonal rainfall variation. We investigated seasonal cambial activity and dormancy from increment rates of four different tree species belonging to varying life forms, namely, evergreen native conifer (Podocarpus falcatus), evergreen introduced conifer (Pinus patula), evergreen broadleaved tree (Prunus africana) and deciduous broadleaved tree (Celtis africana). Measurements of stem radius fluctuations were registered with the help of high-resolution electronic dendrometers. Daily amplitudes of stem diameter variations and daily and monthly net growth rates were determined and related to climatic variables measured at local climate stations. Thin sections of wood collected with a microcorer every 3–6 weeks allowed a visual control of newly formed wood cells during consecutive time intervals. Lack of water availability during the long dry season induced cambial dormancy of 5–7 months depending on life forms. After the onset of the short rainy season, stem swelling started quite synchronously with a variation of only single days in all studied species. Evergreen tree species were able to initiate wood formation during the short rainy season, whereas growth in the deciduous broadleaved species started in the long rainy season. The acquired data provide a basis for delineating the species-specific growth boundaries and the duration of the cambial growing season.