• Dr. Mirko Liesebach
  • Dr. rer. nat. Georg von Wühlisch

Growth of six beech provenances in Schleswig-Holstein


Growth performance and phenotypic variation of six provenances included in the International Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Provenance Trial laid out 1993/1995 by the Thünen-Institute of Forest Genetics was analysed at one location in Schleswig-Holstein. Of the six provenances, three each originated from cooler resp. warmer areas. Data of tree height and diameter of several years and also of other parameters were available. In addition, climate data of the place of origin of these provenances was available.

At the age of 19 years, with a survival rate of between 55 % and 66 %, the provenances varied only little. Also in tree height as well as in trunk diameter the differences were only small. Only the provenance from the Czech Republic showed reduced height growth after age 13 years. Significant differences were found only for the best and the least well performing provenances. It was striking that also the correlations over the tree ages did not give any clear results.

The situation is different for the characteristics leaf flushing and leaf senescence, which were correlated closely over the years and are genetically more strongly fixed. Statistical relationships could be shown between flushing as well as leaf senescence and climate parameters. The qualitatively best stem forms could be shown for provenances originating from higher altitudes. A general relation of provenances originating from either warmer or cooler regions to be better adapted to the conditions at the trial site could not be proven. The underlying grouping of the provenances chosen from cooler or warmer regions for the analysis was not reflected in the characteristics studied.

Frequency of leaf flushing stages (one to seven) for the six beech provenances on May 10, 2006 (© Thünen-Institut/Mirko Liesebach)
Stem form (straight, bent, crooked) for the six beech provenances (© Thünen-Institut/Mirko Liesebach)