Journal Article

Time course of δ<sup>13</sup>C in poplar wood: genotype ranking remains stable over the life cycle in plantations despite some differences between cellulose and bulk wood

Fahad Rasheed, Béatrice Richard, Didier Le Thiec, Pierre Montpied, Eric Paillassa, Franck Brignolas and Erwin Dreyer

Edited by Jim Ehleringer

in Tree Physiology

Volume 31, issue 11, pages 1183-1193
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpr108
Time course of δ13C in poplar wood: genotype ranking remains stable over the life cycle in plantations despite some differences between cellulose and bulk wood

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Genetic differences in δ13C (isotopic composition of dry matter carbon) have been evidenced among poplar genotypes at juvenile stages. To check whether such differences were maintained with age in trees growing in plantations, we investigated the time course of δ13C as recorded in annual tree rings from different genotypes growing at three sites in southwestern France and felled at ∼15–17 years. Wood cores were cut from tree discs to record the time course of annual basal area increment (BAI). The isotopic ratio δ13C was recorded in bulk wood and in extracted cellulose from the annual rings corresponding to the period 1996–2005. Discrimination against 13C between atmosphere and tissues (Δ13C) was computed by taking into account the inter-annual time course of δ13C in the atmosphere. Annual BAI increased steadily and stabilized at about 8 years. An offset in δ13C of ∼1‰ was recorded between extracted cellulose and bulk wood. It was relatively stable among genotypes within sites but varied among sites and increased slightly with age. Site effects as well as genotype differences were detected in Δ13C recorded from the cellulose fraction. Absolute values as well as the genotype ranking of Δ13C remained stable with age in the three sites. Genotype means of Δ13C were not correlated to annual BAI. We conclude that genotypic differences of Δ13C occur in older poplar trees in plantations, and that the differences as well as the genotype ranking remain stable while trees age until harvest.

Keywords: age; Populus × euramericana; tree rings; water-use efficiency

Journal Article.  6595 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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