Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

Dendrological and dendrochronological analysis of growth of local and introduced coniferous tree species in the Kniazhevska kultura plantation near Sofia.


Kniazevska kultura is among the oldest large-scale plantations (1893) in Bulgaria. It provides the opportunity to analyze the long-term growth of local and introduced coniferous tree species and use the conclusions to select optimal species for future plantings. Our results show consistent good growth of Pseudotsuga menziesii. The trees were strongly affected by droughts but recovered fast. Pinus jeffreyi also produced wide tree rings and reached high diameters. Yet, the number of planted and analyzed trees was rather small and conclusions should be taken with care. Pinus strobus trees grew well and produced wide tree rings, but after the first 50 years they decreased sharply their tree-ring width and did not recover. At present much of the trees of this species are with decreased health status, have stem and root rot and the number of dead trees increases rapidly. Larix decidua trees had frequent suppressions and low overall growth. Much of the trees have suffered crown damages probably due to wet snow. Pinus nigra and Pinus sylvestris, which are local for Bulgaria, but not present naturally in the region of plantings, were strongly affected by known droughts. Yet, they maintained radial growth and good health status, especially Pinus nigra. However, a recent wave of mortality in Pinus sylvestris due to bark beetle infestations, lead to strong decrease in the number of surviving scots pine trees. Our results demonstrate the high potential for ornamental and wood production plantings at similar conditions of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pinus nigra. Pinus jeffreyi deserves special attention as potentially very productive and ornamentally attractive species.