Journal Article

Controls of growth phenology vary in seedlings of three, co-occurring ecologically distinct northern conifers

D. Scott Green

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 8, pages 1197-1205
Published in print August 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/27.8.1197
Controls of growth phenology vary in seedlings of three, co-occurring ecologically distinct northern conifers

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The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of temperature and seed-source elevation on height-growth phenology of three co-occurring and ecologically distinct northern conifers (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia (lodgepole pine), Picea glauca (Moench) Voss × Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm. (interior spruce) and Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. (subalpine fir)). Seed from populations of the three indigenous and co-occurring species was collected across an elevational transect on the southwestern slope of McBride Peak, near Prince George, BC. Collection sites were at elevations of 750 to 1850 m, the latter being close to the tree line. In 2003, seeds were germinated and seedlings raised under favorable growing conditions in a temperature-controlled glasshouse. In 2004, seedlings of each population were grown in natural daylengths at a location within 50 km of the seed collection site both in a temperature-controlled glasshouse and at a nearby field site, and height growth was recorded twice a week throughout the growing season. Species differed in both the date and the accumulated heat sum above 5 °C for the initiation and cessation of shoot extension. Growth durations (which integrate growth initiation and growth cessation) were more similar among species in the field than in the glasshouse. This suggests that different mechanisms of phenological control among co-occurring species can result in adaptive “equivalence” under a particular set of climatic conditions.

Keywords: adaptation; co-occurring tree species; photoperiod; temperature

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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