European Dendroecological Fieldweek 2016


12 - 18 September 2016


The majority of wood anatomical and dendrochronological studies are still centered on trees. However, stem anatomical and dendrochronological aspects of shrubs and herbaceous plants showed a huge potential. Exploring species-specific differences in xylem anatomy in relation to patterns of growth form, plant size and site ecology is a new expanding issue. In fact, an unexpectedly rich catalogue of xylem anatomical and dendrochronological features is found in the stems of almost all dwarf shrub and herb species. The quantity and diversity of their anatomical features being comparable to larger plants, including most tree species. Annual rings are formed independently of life form, plant size and site ecology. This conceptual advancement will likely provide annually resolved insight on the past dynamics of dry matter production and carbon allocation for many marginal vegetation zones beyond the geographic limits of forest growth, which are particularly vulnerable to environmental change.

How does it work
During the 27th European Dendroecological Fieldweek we will be able to collect samples at high altitude on the scenic surroundings of the Julian Alps. We will explore the huge potential of growth rings and anatomical features in the region.

What will you learn
The students will explore stem anatomical features in shrubs and herbs to learn basics of:- strategy of sample collection according to research aims,- permanent high quality microslides preparation,- staining to enhance anatomical features,- microscopy and image capturing techniques,- image analysis,- preparing and performing scientific presentation.

The stem anatomy group will have one instructor: Alan Crivellaro, Wood Technologist at Dept. TESAF - University of Padova, Italy