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Adapting future tree species composition of the Vienna Woods to possible consequences of climate change based on past drought responses, as indicated by forest site -, soil - and tree ring parameters

Project Leader
Berger Torsten Winfried, Project Leader
Waldfonds - DAFNE 90 - Maßnahme 8
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
Austrian Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Seckendorff-Gudent Weg 8, 1131 Wien, Austria.
Contact person: Alfred Fürst;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Center for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, Universität Wien, Djerassi Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Austria.
Contact person: Wolfgang Wanek;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Grabner Michael, Sub Projectleader
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest Ecology
Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Materials
Adaptation of the future tree species mix of the Vienna Woods to possible consequences of climate change due to historical drought stress responses, determined on the basis of site, soil and tree ring analyses - subproject tree ring analysis (WiWaKonKlim-Dendro)
Funded by
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Stubenring 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
Drought stress response has become an integral part of adaptive forest management and its understanding is required for estimating the consequences of climate change on prospective tree species range shifts. The dominant tree species in the Vienna Woods is European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Other species like oak, hornbeam, larch, red and black pine, silver fir, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, false acacia and Norway maple make up a relatively small percentage of the forest cover. European beech is a species, which is particularly vulnerable to soil drought and higher temperatures are assumed to increase the frequency and intensity of these droughts. The proposed study tries to link site factors, dendrochronology, dendrochemistry and eco-hydrological modeling with a worldwide unique set of soil and foliage data (up to 97 forest sites) of 1984 and 2012.

We propose to measure stable isotopes of carbon (13C/12C-ratios) in dated tree rings for evaluating drought periods. Reduced stomatal conductance causes photosynthetic discrimination against 13CO2, indicated by decreased 13C/12C-ratios in leaves and tree rings.

Our related research questions are: i) How drought sensitive is beech in comparison to other optional tree species of the Vienna Woods: oak, hornbeam, larch, Scots pine, black pine, silver fir, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, false acacia and Norway maple? ii) Are dendrochemical parameters useful for estimating transpiration fluxes of the studied trees? iii) How do forest site factors (climate, soil, terrain) affect the ranking of tree species by drought sensibility? iv) Do our experimental data agree with modeled data on the stand’s vulnerability and resilience towards soil drought, and if so, can we assess temperature driven changes?

The final objectives are drought sensitivity characterizations of the previous experiences with the existing tree species and recommendations for future tillering and their management with regard to climate change.
Environmental chemistry ; Climate change; Forest ecology; Soil science;
dendrochemistry; tree ring analysis; drought response of trees; forest nutrition; forest water balance;

Berger, T.W. (2022): WiwaKonKlim (Anpassung der zukünftigen Baumartenmischung des Wienerwaldes an mögliche Konsequenzen des Klimawandels aufgrund historischer Trockenstressreaktionen, ermittelt anhand von Standorts-, Boden- und Jahrringanalysen) – Projektvorstellung und -bericht.

Sitzung der Steuerungsgruppe „Laubholzforschung und Waldökologie als Grundlagen für zukunftsfitte arten- und strukturreiche Mischwälder“ im Rahmen des Waldfonds (Aufruf Maßnahme 8), 10.11.2022, Bundesforschungszentrum für Wald, Wien

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