Rolland C., Michalet R.,
Desplanque C., Petetin A., Aimé S. (1999). Ecological requirements of Abies
alba in the French Alps derived from dendro-ecological analysis. Journal
of Vegetation Science 10: 297-306.
- TITLE Ecological requirements of Abies
alba in the French Alps derived from dendro-ecological analysis.
- LANGUAGE English , with English abstract.
- SPECIES Abies alba Mill. and
herbaceous plants growing in fir forests.
- KEY WORDS Silver fir, Correspondance
Analysis, Phytosociology, Dendroecology, Pointer years, Drought, Forest
community, Frost, Growth, Response function, Tree rings.
- MOTS CLES Sapin, Analyse des Correspondances,
Phytosociologie, Dendroécologie, Années caractéristiques, Sécheresse,
Communauté forestière, Gel, Croissance, Fonction de réponse, Cernes de
- SITES Trièves region (France).
- ABSTRACT (English)
We used dendro-ecological techniques to investigate fundamental relationships
between climate and growth of Abies alba (silver fir) in eastern
France. Seven kinds of Abies forests in the Trièves region of the
French Alps were chosen to represent a wide range of ecological conditions
based on the results of previous forest vegetation surveys. In each forest,
four trees were sampled in each of five different stands with two cores per
tree. These 280 cores were studied using two separate dendro-ecological
methods: the pointer years method (based on extreme growth events), and
correlation functions between tree ring-widths and monthly climatic data. Data
from 11 meteorological stations were combined to provide a regional analysis
of precipitation and minimum and maximum temperatures. The two
dendro-ecological methods appear to be complementary, as the first technique
emphasizes common and low intensity linear correlations between ring-widths
and climatic variations, and the second method emphasizes extreme and unusual
climatic events such as exceptionally cold or dry years.
Across all sites, drought in the previous year was consistently correlated
with a low growth rate: however, other climatic variables varied substantially
among sites. For example, drought in the current year reduced growth more in
the low elevation sites than in the high elevation sites and severe winter
frost reduced growth the most in the high altitude sites and the driest site.
Moreover, certain growth responses are better correlated with the age of the
stands, the canopy closure and the floristic composition of the community than
the abiotic factors, emphasizing the value of dendro-ecological sampling based
on phytosociological units.