Title: European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) dieback: Disintegrating forest in the mountain protected areas, Czech Republic
Author: Vacek, Stanislav; Vacek, Zdenek; Bulusek, Daniel; Putalova, Tereza; Sarginci, Murat; Schwarz, Otakar; Srutka, Petr; Podrazsky, Vilem; Moser, W. Keith;
Source: Austrian Journal of Forest Science. 4: 203-223.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is an important tree species in most temperate forests in Europe. Its future is threatened however, especially by an invasive fungus, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus, Chalara fraxinea). The current study is focused on the health of ash in the Krkonoše Mountains National Park, Czech Republic. On permanent research plots containing mixtures of ash and other species, the stands’ health condition was evaluated annually in 2009-2015, by using radial increment and foliage of 350 trees as indicators, with emphasis on the cenotic arrangement and morphological type of the crown. The results show mean annual decrease in foliation of 1.6-2.7% for live trees and 2.4-4.6% in all live and dead trees, with an overall mortality of 16.3% of trees. During the latter half of the study, the defoliation dynamics and dieback accelerated, especially at lower altitude and waterlogged sites. In 2012-2015, the mean annual decrease in foliation reached 3.9% in live trees and 6.3% in all trees. The mean radial increment was significantly lower 2 years after the purported fungi attack and the mean foliage density was significantly lower 6 years after the attack compared to healthy trees. Based on the evaluation of the results and the literature, a set of practical guidelines was established for management strategies and conservation of threatened European ash in similar stand conditions.
Keywords: european ash, Fraxinus excelsior, invasive fungus, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus
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Vacek, Stanislav; Vacek, Zdenek; Bulusek, Daniel; Putalova, Tereza; Sarginci, Murat; Schwarz, Otakar; Srutka, Petr; Podrazsky, Vilem; Moser, W. Keith. 2015. European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) dieback: Disintegrating forest in the mountain protected areas, Czech Republic. Austrian Journal of Forest Science. 4: 203-223.
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