Effects of climate and site characteristics on Scots pine growth

G. Xenakis, D. Ray, M. Mencuccini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scots pine is a highly diverse species, extended across Europe from Scandinavia to Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. It is also a valuable species, used in many commercial monoculture plantations in Great Britain and particularly in Scotland. Because of the diversity of growing environments and its commercial importance, it is necessary to identify the combination of significant factors affecting the observed variability of growth. Temperature, mainly during the growing season, is quite commonly considered as the most important factor in knowledge-based or empirical models. However, in highly oceanic climates like that of Scotland, the impact of temperature may have a less significant impact on growth. Here we argue that other factors, such as incoming winter solar radiation, frost, drought and management also have a significant effect on the growth of Scots pine. In addition, we argue that the already developed Ecological Site Classification knowledge-based model, used as a forest management tool in Great Britain, should be updated to incorporate our findings. Furthermore, we discuss the need to include management impact and possibly more physiological based components in its growth modelling routines, as these would allow the introduction of the effect of winter solar radiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Forest Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

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