Variability of moisture in coarse woody debris from several ecologically important tree species of the Temperate Zone of Europe

TitleVariability of moisture in coarse woody debris from several ecologically important tree species of the Temperate Zone of Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsV. Pichler, M. Homolák, W. Skierucha, M. Pichlerová, D. Ramírez, J. Gregor, and P. Jaloviar
JournalEcohydrology
Volume5
Issue4
Pagination424–434
Month PublishedJuly
AbstractDeadwood moisture affects multiple functions of downed logs in forest ecosystems. They include provision of habitats for xylobionts, additional water stores and organic carbon stocks. In contrast to Northern American forests, little is known about moisture variability in downed logs of important tree species within the Temperate Zone of Europe. Therefore, our study aimed at elucidating this variability according to species, site and decay class (DC). Measurements were taken by TDR during two vegetation periods in eight Carpathian natural forests representing distinct site conditions, ranging from xerothermophilous to subalpine. Downed logs of Quercus spp., Abies alba Mill., Fagus sylvatica L., and Picea abies L., belonging to various DCs, were selected and instrumented with TDR probes. Species and DC-specific TDR calibration showed the importance of intrinsic wood porosity. The course of deadwood moisture consisted of drying during the early decay stage, except for A. alba and F. sylvatica, and an intense water reabsorption at later decay stages. Average moisture for all species and sites displayed seasonal trends, reflecting the occurrence of precipitation clusters and dry periods, as well as short-term fluctuations. Cross-spectral analysis revealed that both sapwood and heartwood participated in wetting and drying processes, but only after reaching an advanced stage of decay. New findings can be applied in interpreting, modelling and predicting deadwood water stores, habitat properties and respiration.
URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eco.235/abstract
DOI10.1002/eco.235