Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth.) on Dry Mineral Rather than on Deep Peat Soils Is More Dependent on Frozen Conditions in Terms of Wind Damage in the Eastern Baltic Region

2022 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth.) on Dry Mineral Rather than on Deep Peat Soils Is More Dependent on Frozen Conditions in Terms of Wind Damage in the Eastern Baltic Region​
Krišāns, O.; Matisons, R.; Vuguls, J.; Rust, S.; Elferts, D.; Seipulis, A. & Saleniece, R. et al.​ (2022) 
Plants11(9) pp. 1174​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11091174 

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Authors
Krišāns, Oskars; Matisons, Roberts; Vuguls, Jānis; Rust, Steffen; Elferts, Didzis; Seipulis, Andris; Saleniece, Renāte; Jansons, Āris
Abstract
In Northern Europe, the ongoing winter warming along with increasing precipitation shortens the periods for which soil is frozen, which aggravates the susceptibility of forest stands to wind damage under an increasing frequency of severe wind events via the reduction in soil–root anchorage. Such processes are recognized to be explicit in moist and loose soils, such as deep peat, while stands on dry mineral soils are considered more stable. In the hemiboreal forest zone in the Eastern Baltics, silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) is an economically important species widespread on mineral and peat soils. Although birch is considered to be less prone to wind loading during dormant periods, wind damage arises under moist and non-frozen soil conditions. Static tree-pulling tests were applied to compare the mechanical stability of silver birch on frozen and non-frozen freely draining mineral and drained deep peat soils. Basal bending moment, stem strength, and soil–root plate volume were used as stability proxies. Under frozen soil conditions, the mechanical stability of silver birch was substantially improved on both soils due to boosted soil–root anchorage and a concomitant increase in stem strength. However, a relative improvement in soil–root anchorage by frozen conditions was estimated on mineral soil, which might be attributed to root distribution. The soil–root plates on the mineral soil were narrower, providing lower leverage, and thus freezing conditions had a higher effect on stability. Accordingly, silver birch on peat soil had an overall higher estimated loading resistance, which suggested its suitability for forest regeneration on loose and moist soils within the Eastern Baltic region. Nevertheless, adaptive forest management supporting individual tree stability is still encouraged.
Issue Date
2022
Journal
Plants 
eISSN
2223-7747
Language
English

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