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Trees

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 41–46 | Cite as

Phenological and growth patterns of the Mediterranean oak Quercus suber L.

  • Graça Oliveira
  • Otília Correia
  • Maria Amélia Martins-Loução
  • Fernando M. Catarino
Original Articles

Abstract

The phenology of Quercus suber L., a dominant species of the montados in the Iberian Peninsula, was studied for 2 years in southwest Portugal. The seasonal progression of phenological events was analyzed in seven trees. Selected branches were examined monthly for shoot elongation, leaf number, branching, flowering, and fruiting. Radial stem growth and specific leaf weight were also studied. Active growth was observed from early spring to early summer. Reserves accumulated during winter and high photosynthetic activity in early spring apparently supported this strong development. The growth flush started with stem radial increment, which seemed to be impaired by spring rainfall. Male inflorescence production was the next phenological event. Old leaves were shed during new twig and leaf emergence. Shoot elongation and the number of new leaves produced were well correlated with the previous-year shoot's length, and were not clearly related to climatic factors. Radial growth resumed in autumn at a lower rate than in the previous spring, a possible consequence of a reserve depletion due to lower photosynthetic production in summer and investment on fruit maturation, which was complete by late autumn. Premature and excessive new leaf production were apparently subjected to self-pruning strategies related to the development of each tree's crown. Younger cork-oaks produced shorter and fewer shoots per module, and more sclerophyllous leaves than the older ones. A high intra-specific variability was observed in all the results.

Key words

Phenology Growth Specific leaf weight Trees Quercus suber L. 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graça Oliveira
    • 1
  • Otília Correia
    • 1
  • Maria Amélia Martins-Loução
    • 1
  • Fernando M. Catarino
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia VegetalFaculdade de Ciências de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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