Following work on the decline of silver fir (Abies alba Mill) in the Vosges and beech (Fagus sylvatica L) in the Lorraine plain, which seemed to show contradictory results, a dendrochronological study of beech from mixed beech/fir stands in the Vosges was carried out. This paper presents the results obtained for 537 trees from the first 85 sites sampled on the Lorraine side of the Vosges. A certain number of behavioural similarities have been observed for spruce in the same area and also some differences: i) certain pointer years are common to both species but not all; missing annual rings are less frequent and rarely successive; ii) the mean growth curve as a function of age reaches a maximum later than that of fir (at about 40 years old instead of 10 years); iii) for a given age, the increase of annual ring width for beech is highly correlated to date (the more recent rings are relatively larger); iv) as for spruce, but contrary to beech in the Lorraine plain, a strong tendency to a longterm increase in ring width was observed. This was in the order of 70% between 1850 and 1989, with crisis periods, which always occurred at about the same time. Conversely, the ringwidth increase occurred more regularly than in fir and the plateau in the middle of the 20th century is not as clear as that of the fir. In conclusion, the behavioural differences between fir and beech are probably due to a species effect, but environmental differences should be ruled out. The next stage of this study, in which the whole of the Vosges area will be surveyed, will allow us to separate the 2 factors, as well as explain the ecological causes of the different phenomena identified in this initial study. © 1995 Elsevier/INRA.
Picard, J. F. (1995). Évolution de la croissance radiale du hêtre (Fagus silvatica L) dans les Vosges. Premiers résultats sur le versant lorrain. Annales Des Sciences Forestieres, 52(1), 11–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-4312(96)89686-X