Intraspecific Competition Affects Crown and Stem Characteristics of Non-Native Quercus rubra L. Stands in Germany
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16482
Accurate guidelines for silvicultural management of exotic tree species in Germany are sparse. For example, northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is the most commonly planted exotic deciduous tree species in Germany, but its response to varying levels of competition intensity has not yet been adequately explored. Here, we used terrestrial laser scanning to non-destructively examine the responses of stem and crown characteristics of Quercus rubra to intraspecific competition. A total of 100 dominant red oak trees were investigated in ten pure red oak stands, located in five federal states of Germany. The external stem quality characteristics namely stem non-circularity and bark anomalies decreased with increasing tree competition. Also, the crown characteristics crown volume, crown surface area, maximum crown area, crown length, and branch length declined by the degree of individual tree competition. We conclude that individual tree properties can be controlled by competition intensity, resulting in improved timber quality as shown for other tree species.