European beech forests

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#21)  Re: European beech forests

Postby hamadryad » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:19 pm

dbhguru wrote:Kouta and Anthony,

     Great posts. Fabulous photography. I love European beeches. There are many here in Florence and Northampton. I'm thinking about starting a photographic project to capture them. However, on another topic, I'm curious. Where are the wettest places in Europe that you all know of? I've seen some pretty high amounts listed for Europe and Asia Minor. Some may be in the Carpathian Mountains. I never hear of rainforest being associated with Europe, but some of the precipitation amounts meet an old definition for rainforest I remember of 75 inches or more of precipitation fairly evenly spread.

    Here in the eastern United States, a few spots reach to 75 inches or more. So far as I know, all are in the Appalachian chain. Some precipitation maps show a small area in the Balsam Mountains as receiving around 100 inches annually, but I think these are projections/extrapolations. Mount Washington, New Hampshire receives an average of 98 inches of precip annually. Several of the official TVA reporting stations in the southern Appalachians receive between 80 and about 86 inches annually.  Forest Service Coweeta Station #8 in the Nantahalas of North Carolina receives 93.

Bob


Bob, You would be hard pressed to get more rain fal than in cumbria! and Wales too, I will do some digging about and find out but the areas mentioned have awesome bryophytes, even Trees that have roots tracing the water down the branches till they reach the ground.

some images to illustrate, some Dartmoor, some Cumbria, if you guys ever fancy a British Isles tree trek I will happily be your guide for a week.

Got lots of contacts for woodland accses

               
                       
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#22)  Re: European beech forests

Postby dbhguru » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:24 pm

Anthony,

  Awesome! I knew rainfall totals were high, but didn't know how high. The original forest of the British Isles must have been off the charts. Please keep the images coming.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
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#23)  Re: European beech forests

Postby KoutaR » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:14 am

Bob, Chris & Anthony,

What is wetness? If it is defined as annual precipitaion then the wettest place is probably in the Balkans as the site, that Chris found, claims. For plants, more relevant figure may be precipitaion minus potential evapotranspiration. Then the wettest regions are western Scotland, western Norway and southern Iceland. Source: Polunin & Walters: A guide to the vegetation of Britain and Europe.

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#24)  Re: European beech forests

Postby dbhguru » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:04 pm

Kouta,

  Good point. I'm curious about both. High precipitation combined with a relatively warm climate produces our big trees. Wetness and too much cold equals lots of moss plus misery for people, but no big trees. There is a cross-over point somewhere.

Bob
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#25)  Re: European beech forests

Postby edfrank » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:08 pm

KoutaR wrote:Bob, Chris & Anthony,

What is wetness? If it is defined as annual precipitaion then the wettest place is probably in the Balkans as the site, that Chris found, claims. For plants, more relevant figure may be precipitaion minus potential evapotranspiration. Then the wettest regions are western Scotland, western Norway and southern Iceland. Source: Polunin & Walters: A guide to the vegetation of Britain and Europe.

Kouta


Kouta,

Excellent points.  Another consideration with regard to wetness that is applicable in some cases is the rate of infiltration.  In some settings where the overburden/soil is basically sand or in limestone or gypsum karst regions the rainwater may quickly infiltrate to depths beyond the reach of the plants on the surface.  Thus even where there is plenty of rain or other precipitation, not all of the water that falls is available to plants in these environments.

Edward Frank

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#26)  Re: European beech forests

Postby Chris » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:15 pm

All excellent points.

But it seems like a lot of the high precipitation, low temp places aren't even forested. My quick glance at maps of western Scotland, western Norway, show they are dominated by heath, birch, and other small shrub species. Very Arctic/alpine in vegetation.

Meanwhile, some of the wetter sites in the Balkans have limestone bedrocks [famous Karst region for example].


Kouta, slightly off-topic, you mentioned that book, but it isn't available here and I am not finding good maps online [I think I may be spoiled by the excellent eco-regions maps for Mexico, US, Canada. Do you have any thing online or books you also recommend beyond the very broad "boreal, temperature, Mediterranean" stuff]? For example, the best of Norway I found was the rather disappointing offering from the Ministry of the Environment of Norway with an interactive map of landcover with the categories of "forest" "wetland" "built up area" "agriculture" etc...
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#27)  Re: European beech forests

Postby KoutaR » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:11 am

Chris wrote:But it seems like a lot of the high precipitation, low temp places aren't even forested. My quick glance at maps of western Scotland, western Norway, show they are dominated by heath, birch, and other small shrub species. Very Arctic/alpine in vegetation.


Chris,

I don't know those areas well but my understanding is that much of the regions would be forested without human influence. They have been kept treeless by burning and/or grazing. Acid soils and the harsh climate also make reforestration very slow.

The book is available in Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Vegetation- ... and+Europe

Seems to be cheaper in the British Amazon:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Guide-Vegetat ... 934&sr=1-1

About the European vegetation & climate, I haven't other books in English (actually also my copy of the book of Polunin&Walters is not in English but in Italian). I don't know good web sites about this topic. If you find something, please let me know.

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#28)  Re: European beech forests

Postby PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:44 am

Ten or 20 years ago I could have gone out and taken some photos of a fantastic example of a hemlock-beech old-growth forest at the Tionesta Scenic and Research Natural Areas in the Allegheny National Forest to contribute to this thread, but recently most of the beech trees in that tract have been killed by the beech bark disease:

http://www.invasive.org/symposium/houston.html

From the 2007 Allegheny National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan):

Beech Bark Disease Complex
The introduced BBD complex results in significant beech mortality, with an understory response of increased beech root sprouting, and an increase in the amount of susceptible beech stems in affected areas, potentially leading to a second BBD complex outbreak of more serious impact than the first (Otrofsky and McCormack 1986). In order to retain a component of American beech that is resistant to the BBD complex, efforts will be made to identify and retain beech trees that are immune or resistant to the disease complex as suggested by Burns and Houston (1987) and Mielke et al. (1986). At the same time, beech that are susceptible to the complex will be removed to provide growing space for either resistant beech or other tree species. Following a period of time for beech root sprouts to develop, foliar glyphosate treatments are applied to reduce the abundance of beech sprouts. This creates growing space for diverse tree seedling regeneration, including resistant beech sprouts and seedlings that will develop around resistant beech trees retained in harvest treatment areas. These resistant beech seedlings and sprouts can then develop with little competition from stems of susceptible beech trees. Long term studies in New Hampshire have found that management directed toward removing poor beech trees over a period of decades can produce areas where stand level health is significantly improved, the effects of the BBD complex are reduced, and the basal area of beech trees resistant to the disease complex is increased (Leak 2006). ANF foresters will continue to cooperate with researchers from the Northern Research Station to study methods of regenerating a beech component that is resistant to the BBD complex.
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#29)  Re: European beech forests

Postby PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:32 pm

I don't think this European site has been mentioned yet: the Omberg forest reserve along the east shore of Lake Vättern in Sweden. It is on my short list of places to see in my lifetime (it's the oblong-shaped tract on the left side of this map):

Image
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... n_1928.jpg

My understanding is that the Omberg forest is mostly pine and spruce, but that pockets of beech are also present.

Image
http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/ostergotlan ... index.aspx

Image
http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/ostergotlan ... mberg.aspx

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJgXDObGsFA[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJgXDObGsFA

Omberg forest understory scenes begin at about the 1:00 mark in this video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgtGDh6al-k[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgtGDh6al-k
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#30)  Re: European beech forests

Postby PAwildernessadvocate » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:41 pm

I have a feeling that the Swedish-language characters å, ä, and ö are probably screwing up the formatting when I try to post images with URLs containing any of those characters. Oh well.
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