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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2022 str. 39     <-- 39 -->        PDF

2.75 cm, the needle width from 0.15 to 0.22 cm and the needle thickness from 0.034 to 0.064 cm. On the 3D scatter plot can be noticed that Dubočica population had the lowest needle mean values. The populations of Zlatar, Golija, Javor, Stara planina and Goč made a group with smaller NW and NT compared to the other populations (Figure 2).
The populations of Tara and Osogovo were singled out as the populations with the highest mean values of the needle traits. High negative correlation (r = -0.83, p < 0.00001) was obtained between these indices (CMD and IDM). A negative statistically significant correlation was obtained for the ratio of altitude and evaporation (r = -0.51, p < 0.0018) indicating that the higher the altitude the less the evaporation. The correlation between CMD and elevation was weakly negative, but also significant (r = -0.44, p < 0.0054).
Interpopulation and intrapopulation variability was statistically significant and confirmed by the results of the applied ANOVA model. Namely, all three morphological needle traits showed highly significant differences between populations and between trees within populations (all p <0.0001) (Table 2).
Based on the results of the applied PCA analysis, the obtained first principal component axis (PC1) described 56.28% of the total variability, and the second (PC2) 23.83% (Figure 3A). The variability of the needle samples could be clearly separated and the first two axes described 80.01% of the population variability of the silver fir morphological needle traits (Figure 3B). MAT and degree days (< 0, > 5, < 18 and > 18) contributed the most to the separation of populations based on the first PCA axis (make sharp angle < 90°) (Figure 3). According to the second PCA axis, the characteristics of NW and NT contributed the most to the separation of populations (the factor values of the second principal component were > 0.90). The lowest mean values of these