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Light acclimation of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) saplings after canopy destruction

Svetoslav Anev

Department of Dendrology, Faculty of Forestry, University of Forestry, 10 Kliment Ohridski Blvd., 1797 Sofia, Bulgaria. E-mail:


Gas exchange response of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) saplings to canopy  opening was studied in the ‘Petrohan’ training and experimental forest range in Western Stara Planina Mt. Experimental plots were set on various altitudes (700–1450 m a.s.l.) and were chosen by their different sylvicultural or disturbances histories. The results of this study point out that Europe- an beech saplings show significant acclimation potential to changed post-cutting or windthrow environmental conditions. The light response curves at saplings from the open and the closed sites were typical for the sun and the shade ecotype of European beech leaves. The maximal photosynthesis was higher in more illuminated saplings but, as with light-use efficiency, did not vary significantly with cutting type, disturbance, altitude and air temperature. These physiological indicators rather express the biological characteristics of the European beech more strongly than a common response to environmental changes. In contrast, respiration, transpiration, water-use efficiency and light-compensation points were highly correlated with altitude and temperature.
Especially the respiration and the transpiration varied much less with cutting type and natural disturbance. The light-compensation point was the most sensitive to both the type of stand open- ing and illumination, which can indicate the acclimation response of European beech saplings to stand disturbances of different sizes and causes.

Received: 13 February 2024 / Accepted: 05 March 2024 / Available online: 08 March 2024

Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

(Forestry Ideas, 2024, Vol. 30, No. 1) [Download]
Issues: 1-5 | 6-6