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Thinning effects on walnut stem and crown diameter growth and fruiting in the walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan

Abstract

The walnut-fruit forests (Juglans regia L.) in southern Kyrgyzstan are considered to be biodiversity hotspots and of considerable economic and ecological importance to local populations. The fruiting ability and stability of these forests are, however, decreasing because of infrequent silvicultural interventions and non-existent natural regeneration. Continuous inventories and walnut harvest measurements were carried out on 18 trial and control plots over the course of 13 year. Results showed that i) thinning had a positive influence on diameter at breast height (dbh) increase, ii) dbh growth and crown area increases are strongly and positively correlated, iii) large crowns enhanced the production of fruits, and iv) temperature conditions had a major influence on the production of fruits. The above-mentioned points are particularly relevant for young plantations but are also valid for relatively old plantations (> 50 years). We conclude that regular thinning substantially improves diameter growth, fruit production and ability of trees to withstand wind and snow damage in both young stands and in older walnut-fruit forests.

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Correspondence to Maik Rehnus.

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http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8332-8356

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1050-8284

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-32-04-9648

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1973-4878

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Sorg, JP., Urech, Z.L., Mamadzhanov, D. et al. Thinning effects on walnut stem and crown diameter growth and fruiting in the walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan. J. Mt. Sci. 13, 1558–1566 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-015-3690-8

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Keywords

  • Juglans regia
  • Silviculture
  • Orchard management
  • Fruit harvest
  • Nut production