Xylogenesis and phloemogenesis of Norway spruce in different ages stands at middle altitudinal zone
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This study aimed to determine the influence of the stand age and selected weather conditions on the cambial activity, xylem and phloem formation and their development. For the analysis, microcores were taken weekly from two corresponding stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) with various ages (35- and 106-years-old) during the growing season 2012 in the Czech Republic. Young specimens were characterised by higher cambium activity; however, more considerable variation and imbalance were found there. In old trees, delayed processes during the development of the xylem and phloem at the cell level were proved. The cambium activity started in March till mid-April, and it lasted for 22 weeks in both cases. The commencement of xylogenesis was established in the first half of May. In both investigated stands, the fully lignified ring was observed at the end of October. For the creation of most xylem cells, it was required 124 and 121 days in the young and old stands, respectively. Daily increment of 0.57 (young) and 0.49 (old) cells on average was observed during the active xylem growth. The relationship between air temperature and wood cell formation for both age groups was recorded. The precipitation influenced wood development just in the case of the young trees. Phloem formation was resistant to external influence according to the Pearson correlation coefficient.