Original paper

Dendrochronological analysis of Quercus pubescens and Pyrus pyraster from the Bielinek Reserve (NW Poland)

Cedro, Anna

Abstract

The Bielinek Reserve, located in the westernmost area of Poland, covers south- and southwest-facing steep slopes of the Odra River valley that rise to an altitude of 70 m. The slopes, incised by 12 gullies, create a diverse topography and are known for their variety of lithological, hydrological, and microclimatic conditions, all of which contribute to a mosaic of habitats and plant communities. The best known and one of the most valuable floristic rarities of the reserve is the downy oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.). It is the only downy oak stand in Poland and marks the north-easternmost boundary of the species' range. Additionally, the thermophilous oak forests and xerothermic communities growing on the steepest, eroded, dry and sunny slopes in the Bielinek Reserve feature the wild pear (Pyrus pyraster L.). Dendrochronological analyses were performed on 50 wild pear and 25 downy oak trees. The wild pear and downy oak chronologies covered 73 (1934–2006) and 212 years (1793–2004), respectively. The chronologies of both species showed their responses to meteorological factors to be highly similar, with the radial increment depending primarily on the amount of precipitation.

Keywords

dendroclimatologydowny oakmeteorological conditionstree-ring widthwild pear