Beech is one of the least dendrochronologically studied trees in Northern Europe. Despite its relatively large distribution area in the region, almost no dendrochronological work has been done on this species and very few beech chronologies are available in Scandianavia.
In Sweden beech grows in mixed or pure stands to a latitude of about 58 N. The importance of this species in maintaining regional biodiversity and as a timber resource has been increasingly acknowledged.
Our main focus is on dendroclimatological analysis of beech growth, reconstruciton of beech masting years, and analysis of physiological triggers behind masting events.
Our preliminary results indicate a strong weather control with regard to the temporal pattern of masting events in southern Sweden over the second half of the 20th century. A negative summer temperature anomaly two years prior to a mast year, coupled with positive anomaly in year immediately preceding a mast year, is a characteristic weather pattern associated with known mast years. We suggest that the observed temporal association is a result of weather effects on specific physiological processes involved in the initiation of flower buds, flower buds’ maturation, flowering, and maturation of beech nuts.