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Variation of morphological and structural traits in natural cork oak populations along temperature and precipitation gradient in Northern Tunisia

Amel Ennajah, Salma Say Kachout, Abd El Wehed Laamouri, Mariem Elaloui,Florent Mouillot, Garchi Salah

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(1), 15-30, July 2015

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Abstract

It tested the hypothesis that contrasting climate and elevations affect the growth and productivity of more than 47 cork oak populations in the Kroumirie (Mediterranean forest in the north west of Tunisia). Study increases the terminal branches, nodes marked by annual leaf production, leaf number, life leaves, number of branches, their length, diameter and biomass inform the annual productivity of trees and this by turning up the last 4 or 5 years. Similarly, the study of dendrometric parameters and foliar structural parameters like the leaf mass per area (LMA) are parameters the variability of which informs about the architectural plasticity. It observed a significant difference in LMA, tree height and circumferences according to altitude and climate. Highest LMA values were obtained at the less favourable sites. For terminal branches, only the biomass of four consecutive years reveal significant differences between populations in response to climate and the altitudinal gradient. The results indicate changes in the annual growth and productivity of these populations under near future drier and warmer conditions. They also point to alterations in their competitive abilities, which could lead to changes in the composition of this ecosystem in the long term.

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Variation of morphological and structural traits in natural cork oak populations along temperature and precipitation gradient in Northern Tunisia

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