Larix decidua and other larches in Europe: distribution, habitat, usage and threats

Da Ronch, F.; Caudullo, Giovanni; Tinner, Willy; de Rigo, Daniele (2016). Larix decidua and other larches in Europe: distribution, habitat, usage and threats. In: San-Miguel-Ayanz, J.; de Rigo, D.; Caudullo, G.; Houston Durrant, T.; Mauri, A. (eds.) European Atlas of Forest Tree Species (pp. 108-110). Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union

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The European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) is a pioneer, very long-lived, fast-growing coniferous tree, which occurs in the central and eastern mountains of Europe, forming open forests or pasture woods at the upper tree limits. Larch is the only deciduous conifer in Europe as an adaptation to continental alpine climates. In fact, it is able to tolerate very cold temperatures during winter and, by losing its needles, avoids foliage desiccation. It is a transitional species, colonising open terrain after natural disturbances. It forms pure stands but more often it is found with other alpine tree species, which tend to replace it if no other disturbances occur. Thanks to its adaptability and the durability of its wood, the European larch represents an important silvicultural tree species in the alpine regions, planted even outside its natural ranges. Its wood is largely used for carpentry, furniture and pulp for paper. In lower altitudes or with high precipitation rates, larch is more susceptible to fungal diseases. Outbreaks of insect defoliators, principally caused by the larch bud moth (Zeiraphera diniana), can limit tree development, with economic losses in plantations, but they rarely lead to the death of the trees.

Item Type:

Book Section (Encyclopedia Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISBN:

978-92-79-52833-0

Publisher:

Publication Office of the European Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2016 11:12

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2020 12:29

Related URLs:

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.80793

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80793

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