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The Douglas-fir provenance trials established on 14 sites in northwestern Germany in 1961 are the basis for a comparison of 26 North American Douglas-fir provenances. The following assessment criteria were formulated: (1) How do the provenances differ with respect to total volume growth after 38 years? (2) Can climate-induced variations be observed in provenance values? (3) Do provenances differ in regard to branchiness? Because of non-orthogonal trial set-ups and plot-related influences, overall trial sites analysis called for a standardisation of interval-scaled primary data. Relative rank classes were calculated on the basis of a mean plot value. With respect to total volume growth, the provenances Tenas Creek (D47) as well as Molalla (D74) and Timber (D41/59) proved provenances with stable and outstanding productivity. Among the tested local climate elements "longterm annual mean temperature", "mean annual precipitation" and "height above sea level" only the influence of long-term annual mean temperature is statistically relevant for productivity. Beside hardy ecotypes, which adapt to a wide spectrum of differing plot climates (e.g., Molalla [D74]), there are provenances with poor adaptive capabilities that react sensitively to local climatic conditions (e.g., Salmon Arm II [D46]). For the criterion "fine-branchiness", the provenances Conrad Creek (D43), Ashford (D67) and Gold Hill (D83) show the best, the provenances Detroit (D76), Carson (D87) and Salmon Arm II (D46) the poorest results.

Kladtke J.,Forstliche Versuchs und Forschungsanstalt Baden Wurttemberg | Kohnle U.,Forstliche Versuchs und Forschungsanstalt Baden Wurttemberg | Kublin E.,Forstliche Versuchs und Forschungsanstalt Baden Wurttemberg | Ehring A.,Forstliche Versuchs und Forschungsanstalt Baden Wurttemberg | And 4 more authors.
Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen | Year: 2012

The investigation is focused on the effects of initial tree number and thinning on growth and value perfor mance of Douglas-fir stands. Data base is a coordinated Douglas-fir spacing experiment in South Germany, started 40 years ago and comprising variants of tree numbers with 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000 Douglas-firs per hectare. The treatment was performed according to a standardized experiment program. The results show that at low initial tree numbers, the diameter on breast height (DBH) of (pre)dominant trees at the beginning of the observations (with 12 m top height) is bigger than at higher initial plant numbers. Accordingly, the quotient of height (H) to DBH (as an indicator for tree's static stability) is lower. The further development of DBH and H/DBH quotient is decisively determined by stand treatment, which superimposes the effect of the initial tree number. The total volume growth shows a clear differentiation, too, the variants with initially high tree numbers appearing on top. In the monetary analysis, this ranking is reversed: despite a supposed inferior wood quality, the variants with lower initial tree numbers clearly outperform the ones with higher numbers in terms of value. From these results, the following silvicultural recommendations for Douglas-fir can be derived: the initial tree numbers should be in the range from 1,000 to 2,000 plants per hectare. On technically not accessible sites, even lower tree numbers may come into question. The strong influence of stand treatment on DBH and H/DBH development highlights the problem of postponed thinnings, for this causes growth and stability losses even under favorable starting conditions in terms of competition.

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