The Influence of Age, Location and Soil Conditions on the Allometry of Young Norway Spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) Trees
Keywords:allometric equation; biomass; factors; mixed-effect models; soil influence
In this study the influence of tree's age, location (i.e. latitude and altitude) and soil conditions (i.e. pH, humus content, carbon to nitrogen ratio, cation exchange capacity and percent base saturation) on tree allometry was investigated. The data was collected from 22 Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst) plantations located in Eastern Carpathians of Romania, aged between 4 and 15. From each plantation a soil sample and 10 trees were collected for soil chemical properties and biomass measurements, respectively. Root collar diameter (RCD) and height (H) based allometric equations were developed for total tree and vegetative organs of the tree (i.e. stem, branches, needles and roots). Furthermore, the interaction between the standardised residuals of these models and the tested factors was analysed. In order to account for the random effect of the clustered data, the mixed-effect modelling procedure was used. The results have shown no influence of these factors (age, location and soil conditions) on RCD based models, except for branches biomass model which was linked to soil carbon/nitrogen ratio. The H based models, however, were significantly influenced by latitude and soil cation exchange capacity as a consequence of H/RCD ratio change with these factors. The trees were more likely to allocate more to height growth when growing in higher latitudes or on soils with higher values of cation exchange capacity.
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