Current issue: 53(2)
Under compilation: 53(3)
We designed a streamlined timber growth and quality model that aims at the effect of stand management on the efficiency of wood resource use. Applying the R based module toolbox to experimental plots of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) we analysed essential model features for reflecting the influence of planting density on board strength. The current version realistically predicted a significant increase of centre board bending strength at tree age 40 with initial stand density. Model performance gained clear advantage from a) parameterisation of height to diameter allometry as dependent on planting density b) consideration of cambial age and cross‑sectional knot area in board strength computation. Crown shape was less decisive. The model produced a significant effect of planting density even after a whole rotation period of 70 years as well as a realistic spectrum of board bending strength.
The effect of climatic factors on wood anatomy of the alien red oak (Quercus rubra L.) growing in three experimental plantations in Latvia was assessed by classical dendrochronological techniques. Two tree-ring proxies – tree-ring width (TRW) and mean area of earlywood vessel lumen (VLA) – were studied on 33 trees. Annual variation of TRW amongst trees was similar (mean r = 0.46), but there was more individuality in VLA (mean r = 0.26); nevertheless, chronologies of both proxies had rather synchronous variation amongst the sites. Annual variation of TRW was affected by factors related to water deficit in late summer, as suggested by the negative effect of temperature and positive effect of precipitation that have intensified during the 20th century, likely due to warming. Although weather conditions during the dormant period did not directly affect TRW, temperature during the autumn-spring period has been the main climatic determinant of VLA likely via influence on overwintering and hence vigour of tree. This suggests that conductive properties of wood and hence the susceptibility to water deficit have been affected by weather conditions before the formation of tree rings. During the 20th century, sensitivity of VLA has shifted from temperature in winter to temperature in autumn likely due to climate change. Still, the positive effect of these factors suggests that warming of climate would increase VLA and hence the risk of embolism and xylem disfunction. Therefore, the importance of availability of water for growth of red oak in Latvia is increasing.
The rule-based formal language of "stochastic sensitive growth grammars" was designed to describe algorithmically the changing morphology of forest trees during their lifetime under the impact of endogenous and exogenous factors, and to generate 3-D simulations of tree structures in a systematic manner. The description in the form of grammars allows the precise specification of structural models with functional components. These grammars (extended L-systems) can be interpreted by the software GROGRA (Growth grammar interpreter) yielding time series of attributed 3-D structures representing plants. With some recent extensions of the growth-grammar language (sensitive functions, local variables) it is possible to model environmental control of shoot growth and some simple allocation strategies, and to obtain typical competition effects in tree stands qualitatively in the model.