Journal Article

Relating nutritional and physiological characteristics to growth of <i>Pinus radiata</i> clones planted on a range of sites in New Zealand

Barbara J. Hawkins, Jianming Xue, Horacio E. Bown and Peter W. Clinton

in Tree Physiology

Volume 30, issue 9, pages 1174-1191
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpq069
Relating nutritional and physiological characteristics to growth of Pinus radiata clones planted on a range of sites in New Zealand

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Six clones of radiata pine with known differences in growth rate were examined for clonal nutritional characteristics and for physiological determinants of clonal growth rate. We compared growth, foliar characteristics and nutrient, 13C and 15N concentration data for the six clones in 4- to 6-year-old field trials planted over a range of nutritionally contrasting sites. These data were also compared with growth, nutrient uptake and remobilization, foliar characteristic and gas exchange data from intensive physiological glasshouse experiments using 1- and 2-year-old plants of the same clones. Significant genotype × environment interactions in our field experiments conducted over strong nutritional gradients allowed us to identify radiata pine clones with consistent, superior growth and nutritional characteristics and clones that may be suited to particular site conditions. Our results suggest that the opportunity exists to exploit clone × site variation for site-specific clonal deployment and planting of fast-growing clones could be accompanied by planting of clones able to take relative advantage of site nutritional characteristics. Faster tree growth was not strongly related to any physiological characteristic, and the factors influencing growth rate differed among clones. The fastest-growing clone had consistent, high uptake of all nutrients, high fascicle weights and high water-use efficiency.

Keywords: foliar nutrients; G × E interaction; phosphorus; potassium; radiata pine; retrospective studies; site resource-use efficiency

Journal Article.  11957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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