The Impact of Adverse Weather and Climate on the Width of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Tree Rings in Southeastern Europe

European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is the most important deciduous tree species in Europe. According to different climate scenarios, there is a relatively high probability of a massive decline in and loss of beech forests in southern Europe and in the southern part of central Europe. Thus, the authors of this study explored the dynamics of tree diameter increments and the influence of extremely dry years on the width of tree rings. This study used dendroecological methods to analyze the growth and diameter increments of European beech trees at locations in Serbia and the Republic of Srpska. The sampling was conducted along the vertical distribution of beech forests, at five sites at the lower limit of the distribution, at five optimal sites of the distribution, and at five sites at the upper limit of the distribution. Long-term analyses indicate that dry conditions during a growing season can reduce tree-ring width, but a reduction in tree growth can be expected as a result of more than one season of unfavorable conditions. Low temperatures in autumn and winter and prolonged winters can strongly affect upcoming vegetation and reduce tree development even under normal thermal conditions during a growing season
Кључне речи
European beech; climate change; drought; air temperature; precipitation; tree rings; dendrochronology