Tree rings and forest management in Europe
Information about forest growth is essential for sustainable forest management. Not only site conditions, species composition and age structure have been modified by human activities but also economic, political and social conditions and aims have changed. Updated site – and species related growth information is needed for efficient management. Information on forest growth does not only describe the volume production potential of forests and the dimension and quality of the produced wood but also is a valuable base for understanding interactions between trees and their environment. Tree rings provide precise information on past growth reaction to environmental changes. They allow a better understanding of sensitivity of species on a given site to environmental changes and provide information for risk assessment. Tree rings support the choice of tree species composition and the analysis of age effects on forest growth. Effects of spacing are indicated by ring width. Tree rings analyses improve wood quality control and contribute to cost efficient forest management.