Evaluation of importance of sapwood senescence on tree growth using the model LIGNUM

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Abstract

The effects of two alternative formulations of sapwood senescence on the behavior of model LIGNUM (with parameter values adjusted for Scots pine growing southern Finland) were studied. The two alternatives were: autonomous sapwood senescence assuming a maximum age for the tree ring and sapwood senescence that is controlled by the mortality of foliage. For the latter alternative two hypothetical further mechanisms were stipulated. All the formulations were implemented in LIGNUM. Simulations were made with all model variants for fertile and poor soil conditions using high, normal and low rates of foliage mortality. The simulation results were compared against of a data set consisting of 11 open grown Scots pine trees from southern Finland. Observations of heartwood proportion were used in this study. They show that heartwood starts to increase in trees from age of approximately 20 years onwards. The simulation results showed no differences between fertile and poor soil conditions as regards heartwood formation. Of the variants of foliage controlled sapwood senescence the one where death of sapwood in a tree segment induces sapwood senescence in the tree parts below only slightly was the best. This and the autonomous sapwood senescence corresponded equally well to the observations. In order to make more refined conclusions additional data and simulations are necessary.

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Sievänen, R., Nikinmaa, E., & Perttunen, J. (1997). Evaluation of importance of sapwood senescence on tree growth using the model LIGNUM. Silva Fennica. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8531

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