Research design

The research design (Fig. 1) to address the issue of changing environment and its influence on growth is centered on using the available network of the Czech landscape inventory plots (CzechTerra, www.czechterra.cz) and its data on site, trees and soils that were collected during 2008-2009. We propose conducting a repeated survey of woody biomass on these plots during 2014-2015, complemented with dendrochronological and isotopic (d13C, d18O) sampling and analysis. This would provide the information on actual tree increment and stand production for the recent 6-year period, including important auxiliary information related to tree vitality, natural mortality and management interventions. Dendrochronology and isotope analysis would provide information on growth pattern in recent history (several decades) and information related to water use and water use efficiency. The project will use the available information on climatic variables and nitrogen deposition and evaluate them so as to be applicable for the individual locations of the CzechTerra landscape inventory plots for the period 1950-2014. This will allow conducting in-depth correlative and model analysis of the observed current and recent-history growth patterns with key factors affecting growth in trees and forest stands within the statistical landscape grid of the Czech Republic. The analysis would consider the effect of site conditions (i.e., soil C/N ratio, exchangeable capacity and acidity, and base saturation, stand age and structure) and altitude. The above research design offers statistically relevant interpretation at country level and its spectrum of site/growth conditions.

CzechTerra_figure

Fig. 1: Research design of the proposed project and its key elements