Journal Article

Aboveground net primary productivity of a beech (<i>Fagus moesiaca</i>) forest: a case study of Naousa forest, northern Greece

Dimitris Zianis and Maurzio Mencuccini

in Tree Physiology

Volume 25, issue 6, pages 713-722
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Aboveground net primary productivity of a beech (Fagus moesiaca) forest: a case study of Naousa forest, northern Greece

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Based on allometric relationships and information provided in forest management plans, we determined aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) for a 10-year period in a Mediterranean beech forest (Fagus moesiaca Cz.) extending across an elevation gradient. The ANPP ranged from 1.87 to 15.71 Mg ha−1 year−1, and leaf area index (L*) ranged from 2.3 to 3.6. Although small trees (diameter at breast height < 10 cm) were not sampled, it was unlikely that this accounted for the low L* because there were very few small trees on a per-hectare basis. A weak positive relationship was found between ANPP and L*, and only ANPP was negatively related to elevation. Although L* did not vary with elevation, biomass growth efficiency (ANPP/L*) declined strongly with elevation. Leaf carbon isotope composition, leaf nitrogen content per unit area and specific leaf area of leaves collected from nine trees across an elevation gradient all varied significantly with elevation and were significantly related to one other, suggesting that water limitations at higher elevations may have driven the reduced growth efficiency at the stand level. Strong winds may also have negatively affected ANPP at higher elevations by altering belowground allocation. Further research is needed to test these hypotheses and to determine the belowground dynamics of phytomass in this ecosystem.

Keywords: carbon isotope discrimination; foliar nitrogen; growth efficiency; leaf area index; specific leaf area

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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