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The uncertainty of the response of forests to climatic changes emphasises the need for information regarding the effects of environmental variability on forest ecosystems. For the evaluation and interpretation of the actual forest conditions, long-term growth observations are necessary. A developing methodology has been applied to assess long-term stem biomass growth in even-aged forests. The methodology relies on the fact that trees hold memory of their past growth. From the dendrochronological analysis of stem disks taken at different heights from a number of sampled trees, the stem biomass growth trend is estimated and then upscaled at stand scale. This methodology has been applied to three even-aged beech stands of 40, 70 and 120 years. The three different long-term growth trends are discussed taking into account the factors that can influence tree growth including: silvicultural management, thinnings regimes, fertilisation, soil features, atmospheric nitrogen depositions and climate changes.

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Authors: BASCIETTO M, Université della Stidi della Tuscia, Viterbo (IT);MASCI A, Université della Stidi della Tuscia, Viterbo (IT);HAJNY M T, Université della Stidi della Tuscia, Viterbo (IT);MATTEUCCI G, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: 3 Congresso SISEF: Alberi e Foreste per il Nuovo Millennio Organised by: Società Italiana di Selvicoltura ed Ecologia Forestale (SISEF) Held at: Viterbo (IT), 15-18 ottobre 2001
Availability: Conference proceedings published as: "Alberi e Foreste per il Nuovo Millennio", SISEF, University of Tuscia, 2001.
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