Allocation of above-ground growth in Pinus sylvestris – impacts of tree size and competition
The effect of tree age, size and competition on above ground growth allocation was studied with 69 Pinus sylvestris trees. Competition was described by tree-level indicators (needle density, crown ratio and height-diameter ratio). The stem, branch and needle growth were determined by stem and branch radial increments and tree level biomass analysis. Combined growth of compartments was strongly correlated with needle mass. Furthermore, tree age, size and competition indicators affected the allocation of growth among the compartments. The allocation of growth to stem and needle increased with tree age and size while the allocation of growth to branch decreased. The increasing crown ratio increased allocation of growth to branches. The combined growth of the components and separate growth of needles, branches and stem were related to needle mass. However, competition and tree size were significant additional explanatory variables when the stem, branch and needle growth were estimated according to needle mass. The growth efficiency increased with relative tree height and decreased with increasing needle density.
Received 6 June 2003 Accepted 17 May 2004 Published 31 December 2004