Drought during the vegetation period has en effect on tree growth. Using daily precipitation data and growth records from long-term research plots, we investigated what can be defined as “drought” and how strong its effect is. Dry or humid periods are defined as the deviation from the long-term daily mean of precipitation. Such periods must last at least 60 days to be considered as being decisive for tree growth. The drought values are used together with other site and stand parameters as explaining variables in a model for the basal area increment for Norway spruce (Picea abies [L] H. Karst.), silver fir (Abies alba Mill.), European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and oak (Quercus L), based on data from long-term growth and yield plots which are located in the neighbourhood of precipitation measurement stations. These models explain 55 to 89% of the variance. In drought situations basal area increment drops clearly for spruce and beech, for fir only weakly and oak shows no reaction. Furthermore, we checked if there happened additional or compulsory felling after drought periods and if the basal area growth changed significantly compared to the growth in the period before. For both it is not the case, despite distinct drought periods in the last century, especially in the 40s with the extreme year of 1947. Therefore we do not expect dramatic changes for the investigated species in similar drought situations under the prerequisite that the other conditions do not change essentially.

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