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Whole-plant CO2 exchange of seedlings of two Pinus sylvestris L. provenances grown under simulated photoperiodic conditions of 50° and 60° N


Seedlings of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) from Russia (59°58′N) and Poland (53°34′N) were grown for 4 months in controlled environment chambers, simulating the photoperiod conditions of 50° and 60° N. The Russian population grown at 50° N showed earlier height growth cessation than the Polish population. Photoperiodic conditions of 60° N increased proportional allocation of dry mass to shoots and lowered allocation to roots in the Russian population, which also had greater allocation to roots than the Polish population in both treatments. Total non-structural carbohydrate concentrations in roots and secondary needles of both populations were significantly higher at the end of the 4 month growing season at 50° compared to 60° N. Net photosynthesis rates were similar for both provenances and both treatments. The rate of transpiration was higher and water-use efficiency lower for plants grown in long-day conditions of 60° N. The mean respiration rate of roots ranged between 30 and 36 nmol CO2 · g-1 dry mass · s-1 and was 2–4 times higher than values observed for needles. Root respiration rates were greater in the Polish than the Russian population. Despite this, the greater allocation to root dry mass of the Russian population resulted in greater root respiratory cost as a proportion of daily carbon gain. Overall, root respiration accounted for between 18 to 34% of the total daily net carbon assimilation of these populations. Root and total respiration as a proportion of net daily carbon assimilation were greater at 50° than 60°N. Mean net integrated CO2 gains were 2.2–2.5 mmol CO2 · day-1 for seedlings from Russia compared to 3 mmol CO2 · day-1 for Poland.

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Oleksyn, J., Tjoelker, M.G. & Reich, P.B. Whole-plant CO2 exchange of seedlings of two Pinus sylvestris L. provenances grown under simulated photoperiodic conditions of 50° and 60° N. Trees 6, 225–231 (1992).

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Key words

  • Scots pine
  • Photoperiod
  • Growth cessation
  • Water-use efficiency
  • Carbon gain