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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Investigating the relationship between various measuring methods for determination of establishment success of urban trees

Levinsson, Anna; Fransson, Ann-Mari; Emilsson, Tobias

Abstract

Establishment is a key concept in urban forestry but it is currently inconsistently defined and measured. Thus, several different methods are being used to determine establishment success but their consequences and applications are rarely discussed. With this paper we would like to stimulate an increased discussion regarding these concepts both in relation to a theoretical definition but also to their practical use. The problem was approached through an experiment using sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) trees and the most common methods used for determination of establishment success. The trees were studied during the first three years after transplant and the association between the different measuring methods was examined. A Principal Component Analysis showed that terminal and lateral shoot length were strongly correlated, and that midday-and pre-dawn shoot water potential, and stomatal conductance were strongly correlated. We developed an index for nightly recovery of water status, which showed that terminal shoot growth was not related to nightly recovery until the third year after transplanting. Our results suggest that successful tree establishment is determined differently depending on which method is used for determination but that the differences might decrease with time. The lack of a firm definition of the term establishment may complicate communication, both within the scientific community and in practice.

Keywords

Establishment definition; Leaf size; Nightly recovery; Shoot growth; Shoot water potential; Stomatal conductance

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2017, Volume: 28, pages: 21-27
Publisher: ELSEVIER GMBH, URBAN & FISCHER VERLAG