European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 551–562 | Cite as

Can the structure of dormant cambium and the widths of phloem and xylem increments be used as indicators for tree vitality?

  • Jožica Gričar
  • Špela Jagodic
  • Bogoslav Šefc
  • Jelena Trajković
  • Klemen Eler
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigated the structure and width of the dormant cambium and of the increments of phloem and xylem of Quercus robur to estimate their potential as indicators for tree vitality. The samples were taken from three woodlands, two in Slovenia [Krakovo forest (KRA) and Murska Suma (MUS)] and one in Croatia [Kobiljak (KOB)], with reported tree decline. The number of dormant cells seems to reflect the initial capacity of the cambium to accomplish cell division. With the exception of two trees at KRA, cell production was always higher on the xylem side than on the phloem side. The annual phloem increments were narrower, less variable among trees and with clear lower and upper limits. With increased cambial cell productivity, the share of the xylem in the total annual radial increment increased following a curvilinear function. In trees with an annual radial increment >3.5 mm, the xylem size represented more than 90 % of the total radial growth. The anatomical variables analyzed show that the most limiting environmental conditions seem to prevail at KRA, whereas the conditions at MUS seem to be most favorable in terms of radial growth. Analysis of the width and structure of xylem and phloem increments, the number of dormant cambial cells and their inter-relationships can provide additional information on the vitality of oaks.

Keywords

European oak Lowland forests Tree decline Radial growth Light microscopy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jožica Gričar
    • 1
  • Špela Jagodic
    • 1
  • Bogoslav Šefc
    • 2
  • Jelena Trajković
    • 2
  • Klemen Eler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Yield and SilvicultureSlovenian Forestry InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of ForestryUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Agronomy, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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