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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2023 str. 66     <-- 66 -->        PDF

species due to their long history of exploitation for wood production and construction (Mikac et al., 2018).
Q. robur has a high-water requirement and displays low water use efficiency, and is thus, sensitive to drought stress (Čehulić et al., 2019; Bose et al., 2021; Kostić et al., 2022). In Serbia, the majority of pedunculate oak stands are situated in the northern part of the country, along with the Sava and the Danube rivers, and in Central Serbia, along the Morava River (Trudić et al., 2013; Stojnić et al., 2014; Rađević et al., 2020). Despite the occurrence and dispersal, pedunculate oak in South Eastern Europe and Serbia alike is under strong influence of drought stress, coming from different natural sources. Climate change, as cumulative challenging factor, is a major driver of drought, and, therefore, influencing Q. robur gene pools in Serbia with dry seasons and shortage of water availability in soil and air (Kostić et al., 2019; 2021a, 2021b, 2022; Stojanović et al.,2021). Although a number of studies conducted in the Sava river basin (Medarević et al., 2009; Bauer et al., 2013; Stojanović et al., 2013; Stojnić et al., 2014; Stojanović et al., 2014; Kostić, 2019, 2021a, 2022) have been focused on different causes of oak mortality (attacks of pests and diseases, climate fluctuations, water level change, and inappropriate tending measures), there is still no consensus within the scientific community about the causes of oak dieback in south-east Europe (Stojanović et al., 2015, Mikac et al., 2018). Dependence of this species on soil and water properties plays an uncertain role in its survival and stress response (Kostić et al., 2021c) and, therefore, a focus on ecophysiology of this valuable broadleaved species should be a priority in the research, breeding and forest management (Pilipović et al., 2020).
There have been many studies done on this species in Europe and Serbia. Genetic variability of Q. robur has been widely studied (Barreneche et al., 1998). Namely, morphological characteristics (Kremer et al., 2002; Batos et al., 2006; Battos et al., 2017), biochemical markers (Streiff et al., 1998; Gömöry et al., 2001; Finkeldey and Hattemer, 2010) and molecular markers (Scotti-Saintagne et al., 2004; Muir and Schloetterer, 2005; Neophytou et al., 2010; Katičić Bogdan et al., 2018). In Serbia, genetic diversity of Q. robur was extensively researched, showing rich heterozygosity and conserved variability for decades now (Trudić et al., 2013; Trudić and Avramidou et al., 2021a; Kesić et al., 2021). Significance of the recent study of Trudić and Avramidou et al. (2021a) reflects in two aspects: it tackled genetic diversity of the same population used in this study and it indicated rich heterozygosity and stable genetic diversity. In addition, biochemical, physiological and morphological diversity of Q. robur from Serbia were assessed, under open, controlled and stressful conditions, tracking various biochemical and morphological traits and parameters (Stojnić et al., 2019; Pilipović et al., 2020; Vaštag et al., 2020; Vaštag et al., 2022, Kebert et al., 2022a, 2022b, 2022c). These studies gave an immense contribution to the understanding of genetical and physiological foundations of pedunculate oak diversity on the territory of Serbia, especially in terms of understanding possible links of used morphometrics and physiological markers to differ oak genetic structure and its drought stress resilience capacity. Selected markers in presented studies, alongside with biochemical parameters covered in this, are having strong genetical basis, and yet being facilitated by the environmental influence as well. Oxidative stress parameters are interlinked with secondary metabolism of the plant, which represents the part of the plant ontogenesis directly influenced by environmental conditions (Popović and Štajner, 2008). As it was suggested by previous studies (Popović et al., 2013; Stojnić et al., 2016; Pellegrini et al., 2019; Ghanbary et al., 2021; Dadkhah-Aghdash et al., 2022; Kebert et al., 2022b) on the phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity of oak and other tree plants species, these biochemical parameters are proposed/monitored as important markers in selection and breeding of the species when tolerance and adaptation to (a)biotic stresses are concerned.
Due to its high intra-species and intra-provenance variations, pedunculate oak provides a valuable gene pool for the selection of superior, climate-resistant genetic material (Kostić et al., 2021). The phenologically different varieties growing in the Serbian lowland region have also been shown to differ regarding pathogen resistance, wood quality, phenology, morphology, chemical characteristics, etc. (Batos, 2012a; Batos, 2012b, Bobinac et al., 2012). Considering the importance of pedunculate oak for forest biodiversity and ecosystem restoration initiatives, constant efforts for its ex situ and in situ conservation through research of genetic diversity are of profound importance in order to mitigate climate change (Stojnić et al., 2019). Apart from these efforts, breeding of more resilient provenances across landscape presents one of the efficient ways for future adaptation of forest tree species to climate change, since adaptation enables plants to optimize their life processes in prevailing environmental conditions at an evolutionary scale. To achieve these long-term goals of pedunculate oak conservation and selection initiatives, integrating different research fields such as plant physiology, genetics and biochemistry presents a holistic, interdisciplinary solution that is appropriate for current and upcoming environmental challenges caused by climate change (Pilipović et al., 2020).
Taking into consideration that common biochemical parameters may contribute to understanding the underpinning plant defense mechanisms against occurring drought stress and, therefore, used as reliable adaptability descriptors in the context of climate change, the aim of this study was to determine if any of 7 proposed oxidative screening tests might be detrimental for long-term genetic monitoring of two varieties of pedunculate oak.