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Mesophication in temperate Europe: a dendrochronological reconstruction of tree succession and fires in a mixed deciduous stand in Białowieża Forest / supporting data

Citation

Spinu, Andreea Petronela; Niklasson, Mats; Zin, Ewa (2019), Mesophication in temperate Europe: a dendrochronological reconstruction of tree succession and fires in a mixed deciduous stand in Białowieża Forest / supporting data, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3ffbg79dj

Abstract

The attached data was gathered to investigate the successional changes in Bialowieza Forest mixed-deciduous stands by reconstructing the long-term tree population dynamics (tree-ring data). Traces of fires were documented from a 43ha area to explore whether fire was involved in shaping the succession of this habitat.

Methods

The study was conducted in a 43-ha mixed deciduous forest stand with admixture of conifer trees and with well-preserved old growth structures.

Data describing the long-term successional patterns were gathered from three circular 5000 m2 sample plots (radius of 39.90 m).  All trees with DBH (diameter at breast height, 130 cm above the ground) higher than 5 cm were inventoried. Up to a radius of 12.62 m (500 m2), all present tree species were cored with an increment borer as close to the mineral soil as possible (20–80 cm), whereas outside the inner 500 m2, only oak, pine, oak and spruce individuals were cored. In total, we cored 275 trees at the ground level (one core per tree). To investigate the early growth of oak, pine, oak and spruce on rich soils of BF and to determine the real ages, 42 trees were randomly selected from the trees cored at the ground level and they were cored additionally at DBH as well.

For the inventory of tree regeneration of other species on a macro-scale, a transect of 25 m length and 2 m width was randomly established in the stand (orientated E-W). All tree regeneration up to 5 cm stem diameter was recorded by species and height. The individuals (48) were collected for age estimation.

The increment cores were dried, glued on wooden mounts and sanded (down to 600 grit) for an easy reading of tree-ring sequences. Under 6–40x magnification, the cores were visually cross-dated by identifying local pointer years following the standard dendrochronological methodology of cross-dating directly on the wood. All developed fire scars found in increment cores and cross-sections were noted (Niklasson & Granström, 2000). Additionally, the disturbances in tree-ring morphology (Niklasson & Granström, 2000) or in the growth pattern were noted and used as a fire record if a certain year was confirmed by a fire scar formed in at least one other sample tree

The samples of seedlings were crosscut at root collar and the surface was sanded and smoothed with a scalpel cut to obtain the clearest possible view of the annual rings.

Funding

Forest Research Institute (Own Research Fund of Ewa Zin), Bialowieza, Poland, Award: 260601

IKEA and the Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Hasselblad foundation in the project “Grazing and fire – key processes for biodiversity in the temperate zone”