Forests of the future need to cope with adverse climatic conditions, in particular drought, to ensure forest stability and productivity. Given the usually long rotation period of forests, forest managers need to select appropriate, i.e. productive and climate-change resilient tree species and/or provenances, to lower tree-mortality risks and sustain current wood production rates at the end of the 21st century. A frequent means of assessing which provenances of a given species are adapted to anticipated climate conditions is common garden experiments, where trees from different provenances are planted under similar climate conditions. However, in this context soil conditions also play an important role, since they govern how climate translates into plant-available water and hence plant’s ability to cope with extreme drought events. Here, we examine the effects of soil conditions on pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.), by studying 10 different Dutch oak provenances that were planted in three provenance trials on different soil types in 1988 in the Netherlands. Using dendroecological methods, we quantified provenance-specific productivity and assessed provenance- and site-specific growth patterns. Our results indicated clear differences in productivity among provenances as well as soil-type specific growth patterns. Consequently, our study highlights the importance of incorporating soil characteristics when evaluating the growth performance of provenances within common garden experiments.
Buras, A., Sass-Klaassen, U. G. W., Verbeek, I., & Copini, P. (2020). Provenance selection and site conditions determine growth performance of pedunculate oak. Dendrochronologia, 61, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2020.125705