Intraspecific diversity of sessile oaks in the Thayatal and its use as a resource for forestry practice - subproject: Drought tolerance - carbon isotope signature

In the northeast of Austria there is a shortage of suitable seed and planting material of deciduous tree species. In the context of the project, stocks of the tree species Sessile Oak are beein be established for the regions particularly affected by drought, which can be used in the long term as seed crops (de novo). For this purpose, drought-tolerant single trees will be characterized in the Thayatal, especially in the area of the National Park, using different methods (drill core analysis, morphology, water use efficiency, drought tolerance genes), seedlings will be grown from the single tree harvested seeds and finally planted in the Waldviertel as future seed sources for forestry practice. It is expected that drought-tolerant Sessile Oaks can be identified especially in the National Park Thayatal. Thus, in addition to a long-term provision of drought-tolerant oak seed, the project could also expand the protected biodiversity of the National Park by a known intra-species (=genetic) component. This would create the basis for a genetic monitoring of the national park, which the national park management could carry out with its own personnel in the future. With this project, both forestry and nature conservation in this region will be promoted. BOKU supports the characterization of selected individual trees with regard to drought tolerance, among other things, by means of carbon stable isotope investigations in annual rings of dry and wet years.

A project of the Stable Isotope Group at the Institute for Soil Research