53(2-3):731–742. Paper abstract bibtex
The decline of a 30-year-old mixed oak coppice stand, with a prevalence of Quercus cer-ris L, located near Tolfa, Rome, Italy, was studied. The area is characterised by overgrazing and a lack of silviculture. In order to better understand the importance of some disturbance factors resulting in decline, phytopathological conditions were compared with data provided by a dendroecological analysis. Stand structure, radial growth, decline symptoms observed at the stem and in the xylem, and the relationship between tree growth and meteorological data, were investigated. The increment series showed that dominant shoots classified as healthy have always had better growth than trees classified as declining. A multiple regression analysis performed between bi-monthly meteorological data and basal area increment showed spring climatic parameters to be those with the highest correlation to growth. These results confirm that several factors are associated to the observed oak decline. The biological implications of this process are discussed.