Germinative capacity and energy of critically endangered Ojców birch (Betula oycoviensis Besser) in the Czech Republic J., Vacek Z., Baláš M., Vacek S. (2020): Germinative capacity and energy of critically endangered Ojców birch (Betula oycoviensis Besser) in the Czech Republic. J. For. Sci., 66: 227-235.
download PDF

Ojców birch (Betula oycoviensis Besser) is a rare and critically endangered taxon of the genus Betula. Its distribution is limited to few countries in Europe. In the Czech Republic, this taxon, characterized by typical shrubby habitus, has been found in fewer than 70 tree individuals, prevailingly in the studied locality Volyně, West Bohemia. This study was focused on the germinative capacity and germinative energy of this taxon, as it is an important indicator of possible regeneration of the trees in nature and for conservation. Non-stratified seeds (2 200 pcs) and stratified ones (2 200 pcs) were compared to each other and in relation to dendrometric tree parameters. The results showed no significant (P > 0.1) differences between stratification variants in total germination (higher by 0.8% in stratified), though stratification improved germinative energy. Germination was in 1st week higher by 6.0% in stratified variant, respectively marginally (P < 0.1) higher in 2nd week in non-stratified variant. However, both germinative capacity and germinative energy were significantly (P < 0.01) variable between individual trees. The germinative capacity was significantly (P < 0.05) positively correlated with tree defoliation. Tiny seeds and triploid trees exhibited very low and zero germinative capacity and energy, respectively. Totally, seeds exhibited sufficient germinative capacity and germinative energy of 23.1% (0.0–62.5%). This suggests that the trees can be potentially used for this type of Ojców birch regeneration i.e. generatively from seeds, although rather in controlled artificial conditions.

Ahola V., Leinonen K. (1999): Responses of Betula pendula, Picea abies, and Pinus sylvestris seeds to red/far-red ratios as affected by moist chilling and germination temperature. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 29: 1709–1717.
Ambrož R., Vacek S., Vacek Z., Král J., Štefančík I. (2015): Current and simulated structure, growth parameters and regeneration of beech forests with different game management in the Lány Game Enclosure. Forestry Journal, 61: 78–88.
Baláš M., Kuneš I., Gallo J., Rašáková N. (2016): Review on Betula oycoviensis and foliar morphometry of the species in Volyně, Czech Republic. Dendrobiology, 76: 117–125.
Baláš M., Kuneš I., Linda R., Gallo J., Petrásek J. (2019): Výskyt jedinců s fenotypovým projevem břízy ojcovské na lokalitě Volyně u Výsluní. [Occurrence of individuals showing the phenotypic traits of Oyców birch in the locality Volyně u Výsluní.] Soubor specializovaných map s odborným obsahem. Praha, Ministerstvo zemědělství České republiky.
Balcar V., Kacálek D. (2001): Development of European birch and Carpathian birch plantations on the ridge part of the Jizerské hory Mts. In: 50 Years of Forestry Research in Opočno, VÚLHM VS, Sept 12–13, 2001: 193–200.
Benowicz A., Guy R., Carlson M.R., El-Kassaby Y.A. (2001): Genetic variation among paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) populations in germination, frost hardiness, gas exchange and growth. Silvae Genetica, 50: 7–12.
Besser W.S.J.G. (1809): Primitiae Florae Galiciae Austriacae Utriusque. Wien, Anton Doll Verlag: 400.
Bonner F.T., Karrfalt R.P. (2008): The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Agricultural Handbook No. 727. Washington, DC, US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 1223.
Cameron A. D. (1996): Managing birch woodlands for the production of quality timber. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 69: 357–371.
Cukor J., Vacek Z., Linda R., Vacek S., Marada P., Šimůnek V., Havránek F. (2019): Effects of bark stripping on timber production and structure of Norway spruce forests in relation to climatic factors. Forests, 10: 320.
Debnárová G., Šmelková Ľ. (2008): Sesonal fluctuation in germination of short and long – term Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) seeds. Journal of Forest Science, 54: 389–397.
Dittmar C., Zech W., Elling W. (2003): Growth variations of common beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) under different climatic and environmental conditions in Europe – a dendroecological study. Forest Ecology and Management, 173: 63–78.
Fischer A., Lindner M., Abs C., Lasch P. (2002): Vegetation dynamics in central European forest ecosystems (near-natural as well as managed) after storm events, Folia Geobotanica, 37: 17–32.
Gallo J., Baláš M., Linda R., Kuneš I. (2020): The effects of planting stock size and weeding on survival and growth of small-leaved lime under drought-heat stress in the Czech Republic. Austrian Journal of Forest Science, 137: 43–66.
Grime J.P. (2001): Plant strategies, vegetation processes and ecosystem properties. Chichester, Wiley & Sons: 417.
Hester A.J., Gimingham C.H., Miles J. (1991): Succession from heather moorland to birch woodland. III. Seed availability, germination and early growth. The Journal of Ecology, 79: 329–344.
Hirayama D., Nanami S., Itoh A., Yamakura T. (2008): Individual resource allocation to vegetative growth and reproduction in subgenus Cyclobalanopsis (Quercus, Fagaceae) trees. Ecology Research, 23: 451–458.
Hoffman J., Chválová K., Palátová E. (2005): Lesné semenárstvo na Slovensku. Bratislava, PEREX K+K: 193. (in Slovak)
Hynynen J., Niemistö P., Viherä-Aarnio A., Brunner A., Hein S., Velling P. (2010): Silviculture of birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in northern Europe. Forestry, 83: 103–119.
Innes J.L. (1994): The occurrence of flowering and fruiting on individual trees over 3 years and their effects on subsequent crown condition. Trees Structure and Function, 8: 139–150.
Ivetić V., Devetaković J., Nonić M., Stanković D., Šijačić-Nikolić M. (2016): Genetic diversity and forest reproductive material-from seed source selection to planting. iForest-Biogeosciences and Forestry, 9: 801.
Junttila O. (1970): Effects of stratification, gibberellic acid and germination temperature on the germination of Betula nana. Physiologia Plantarum, 23: 425–433.
Karlík P. (2010): Taxonomická problematika bříz Betula L.
v České republice se zvláštním zřetelem na drobné taxony z okruhu břízy pýřité Betula pubescens agg. In: Prknová H. (ed.): Bříza – strom roku 2010, Kostelec nad Černými lesy, Sept 23, 2010: 61–65. (abstract in English)
Karlsson M. (2001). Natural regeneration of broadleaved tree species in southern Sweden. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 196: 44.
Knops J.M.H., Koenig W.D., Carmen W.J. (2007): Negative correlation does not imply a tradeoff between growth and reproduction in California oaks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104: 16982–16985.
Köppen W. (1936): Das geographische System der Klimate, Handbuch der Klimatologie. Berlin, Gebrüder Borntraeger: 44.
Korczyk A (1967): Rozmieszczenie geograficznebrzozy ojcowskiej (Betula oycoviensis Bess.) [Geographic distribution of Ojców birch (Betula oycoviensis Bess.)]. Ochrona Przyrody 32: 133–170. (in Polish)
Král J., Vacek S., Vacek Z., Putalová T., Bulušek D., Štefančík I. (2015): Structure, development and health status of spruce forests affected by air pollution in the western Krkonoše Mts. in 1979–2014. Forestry Journal, 61: 175–187.
Kuneš I., Linda R., Fér T., Karlík P., Baláš M., Ešnerová J., Vítámvás J., Bílý J., Urfus T. (2019): Is Betula carpatica genetically distinctive? A morphometric, cytometric and molecular study of birches in the Bohemian Massif with a focus on Carpathian birch. PLoS ONE, 14: e0224387.
Leslie A., Mencuccini M., Perks M.P. (2017): A resource capture efficiency index to compare differences in early growth of four tree species in northern England. iForest: Biogeosciences and Forestry, 10: 397–405.
Linda R., Kuneš I., Baláš M., Gallo J. (2017): Morphological variability between diploid and tetraploid taxa of the genus Betula L. in the Czech Republic. Journal Forest Science, 63: 531–537.
Lorenz M. (1995): International co-operative programme on assessment and monitoring of air pollution effects on forests – ICP forests. Water, Air & Soil Pollution, 85: 1221–1226.
Melzack R. N., Watts D. (1982): Variations in seed weight, germination, and seedling vigour in the yew (Taxus baccata, L.) in England. Journal of Biogeography, 9: 55–63.
Mikulenka P., Prokůpková A., Vacek Z., Vacek S., Bulušek D., Simon J., Šimůnek V., Hájek V. (2020). Effect of climate and air pollution on radial growth of mixed forests: Abies alba Mill. vs. Picea abies (L.) Karst. Central European Forestry Journal, 66: 23–36.
Mir N.A., Masoodi T.H., Sofi P.A., Mir S.A., Malik A.R. (2018): Determination of effect of stratification duration and GA 3 on germination and growth of Betula utilis D. Don under temperate conditions of Kashmir Himalayas. Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, 23: 536–542.
Mund M., Kutsch W.L., Wirth C., Kahl T., Knohl A., Skomarkova V.M., Schulze E.D. (2010): The influence of climate and fructification on the inter-annual variability of stem growth and net primary productivity in an old-growth, mixed beech forest. Tree Physiology, 30: 689–704.
Novák J., Špulák O., Souček J., Slodičák M., Dušek D. (2017): Potential of birch in the Czech forests. Beiträge zur Jahrestagung, 2017: 110–115.
Ondráček (2008): Plán péče o přírodní památku – Lokalita břízy ojcovské u Volyně na období 2008–2017. Praha, Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny České republiky: 15. (in Czech)
Parisod C., Holderegger R., Brochmann C. (2010): Evolutionary consequences of autopolyploidy. New Phytologist, 186: 5–17.
Podrázský V., Remeš J., Hart V., Moser W. K. (2009): Production and humus form development in forest stands established on agricultural lands – Kostelec nad Černými lesy region. Journal of Forest Science, 55: 299–305.
Poleno Z., Vacek S., Podrázský V., Remeš J., Štefančík I., Mikeska M., Kobliha J., Kupka I., Malík V., Turčáni M., Dvořák J., Zatloukal V., Bílek L., Baláš M., Simon J. (2009): Pěstování lesů III. Praktické postupy pěstování lesů. Kostelec nad Černými lesy, Lesnická práce: 952. (in Czech)
Procházková Z. Bezděčková L. Martincová J., Palátová E. (2002): Quality of beechnuts from different crop years. Dendrobiology, 47: 39–42.
Putalová T., Vacek Z., Vacek S., Štefančík I., Bulušek D., Král J. (2019): Tree-ring widths as an indicator of air pollution stress and climate conditions in different Norway spruce forest stands in the Krkonoše Mts. Central European Forestry Journal, 65: 21–33.
Quitt E. (1971): Klimatické oblasti Československa. Brno, Geografický ústav ČSAV: 5. (in Czech)
Rao S.J., Iason G.R., Hulbert I.A.R., Daniels M.J., Racey P.A. (2003): Tree browsing by mountain hares (Lepus timidus) in young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and birch (Betula pendula) woodland. Forest Ecology and Management, 176: 459–471.
Schubert J. (1993): Lagerung und Vorbehandlung von Saatgut wichtiger Baum- und Straucharten. Eberswalde-Finow, Landesanstalt für Ökologie, Bodenordnung und Forsten/Landesamt für Agrarordnung Nordrhein-Westfalen (LÖBF): 183.
Seidling W. (2007): Signals of summer drought in crown condition data from the German Level I network. European Journal of Forest Research, 126: 529–544.
Simon J. (2010): Strategie mamagementu lesních území se zvláštním statutem ochrany. Obecná část I. Kostelec nad Černými lesy, Lesnická práce: 568. (in Czech)
Šmilauer P., Lepš J. (2014): Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO 5. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 361.
Staszkiewicz J. (2013): Brzoza ojcowska (Betula oycoviensis Bess.) na górze Skiełek w Beskidzie Wyspowym. Chrońmy Przyrodę Ojczystą, 41: 36–41. Available at (in Polish)
Staszkiewicz J., Wójcicki J. J. (1992): “Betula × oycoviensis” Besser in the environs of Kraków (S. Poland). Veröffentlichungen des Geobotanischen Institutes der Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Stiftung Rübel, in Zürich 107: 94–97.
Tylkowski T. (2012): Betula pendula seed storage and sowing pre-treatment: effect on germination and seedling emergence in container cultivation. Dendrobiology, 67: 49–58.
Vacek S. (1987): Morfologická proměnlivost buku lesního
v Krkonoších. Zprávy lesnického výzkumu, 32: 1–6.
Vacek S., Nosková I., Bílek L., Vacek Z., Schwarz O. (2010): Regeneration of forest stands on permanent research plots in the Krkonoše Mts. Journal of Forest Science, 56: 541–554.
Vacek S., Vacek Z., Bílek L., Simon J., Remeš J., Hůnová I., Mikeska M. (2016). Structure, regeneration and growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands with respect to changing climate and environmental pollution. Silva Fennica, 50: 1564.
Vacek S., Černý T., Vacek Z., Podrázský V., Mikeska M., Králíček I. (2017a): Long-term changes in vegetation and site conditions in beech and spruce forests of lower mountain ranges of Central Europe. Forest Ecology and Management, 398: 75–90.
Vacek S., Vacek Z., Remeš J., Bílek L., Hůnová I., Bulušek D., Putalová T., Král J., Simon J. (2017b): Sensitivity of unmanaged relict pine forest in the Czech Republic to climate change and air pollution. Trees, 31: 1599–1617.
Vacek S., Vacek Z., Kalousková I., Cukor J., Bílek L., Moser W. K., Bulušek D., Podrázský V., Řeháček D. (2018b): Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) stands on former agricultural land in the Sudetes – evaluation of ecological value and production potential. Dendrobiology, 79: 61–76.
Vacek Z., Vacek S., Remeš J., Štefančík I., Bulušek D., Bílek D. (2013): The structure and model development of stands in NNR Trčkov – protected landscape area Orlické hory, Czech Republic. Forestry Journal, 59: 248–263.
Vacek Z. (2017): Structure and dynamics of spruce-beech-fir forests in Nature Reserves of the Orlické hory Mts. in relation to ungulate game. Central European Forestry Journal, 63: 23–34.
Vacek Z., Bulušek D., Vacek S., Hejcmanova P., Remeš J., Bílek L., Štefančík I. (2017c): Effect of microrelief and vegetation cover on natural regeneration in European beech forests in Krkonoše national parks (Czech Republic, Poland). Austrian Journal of Forest Science, 134: 75–96.
Vacek Z., Cukor J., Vacek S., Podrázský V., Linda R., Kovařík J. (2018a): Forest biodiversity and production potential of post-mining landscape: opting for afforestation or leaving it to spontaneous development? Central European Forestry Journal, 64: 116–126.
Valkonen S., Valsta L. (2001): Productivity and economics of mixed two-storied spruce and birch stands in Southern Finland simulated with empirical models. Forest Ecology and Management, 140: 133–149.
Var M., Bekci B., Dinçer D. (2010): Effect of stratification treatments on germination of Sorbus torminalis L. Crantz (wild service tree) seeds with different origins. African Journal of Biotechnology, 9: 5535–5541.
Vincent G. (1965): Lesní semenářství. Praha, Státní zemědělské nakladatelství: 307. (in Czech)
Vítámvás J., Kuneš I., Viehmannová I., Linda R., Baláš M. (2020): Conservation of Betula oycoviensis, an endangered rare taxon, using vegetative propagation methods. iForest-Biogeosciences and Forestry, 13: 107.
download PDF

© 2020 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences