Advertisement

Trees

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1657–1665 | Cite as

Tree size mostly drives the variation of xylem traits at the treeline ecotone

  • Jakub KašparEmail author
  • Tommaso Anfodillo
  • Václav Treml
Original Article

Abstract

Key message

The axial structure of the hydraulic system in trees is relatively invariant and insensitive to temperature, while trees plastically adjust the number of cells within the tree ring.

Abstract

At higher elevations and latitudes in the treeline ecotone, reduction in the heat accrued during the growing season is reflected in gradually decreasing tree size. Due to low temperatures, treeline trees might produce smaller xylem cells and, as a consequence, tree growth could be limited. However, some xylem traits (i.e., cell lumen area) are considered relatively insensitive to climatic factors but highly dependent on tree size because of the natural widening of xylem conduits towards the stem base. We tested the hypothesis that earlywood cell lumen area is essentially invariant and depends largely on tree size. Tracheid traits in four conifer species from the lower (“timberline”) and upper (“treeline”) parts of the treeline ecotone (Picea engelmannii, Picea abies, Pinus cembra and Larix decidua) were measured in the Colorado Front Range (U.S.A.), Krkonoše Mts. (Czech Republic) and Dolomites (Italy). On transversal sections sampled at 1 m of stem height, we measured cell lumen areas, transversal cell size, cell wall thickness, tree-ring width and number of cells per radial file. Cell lumen areas were always greater at the timberline than treeline. When tree height is accounted for, the earlywood cell area did not differ between the two sites, thus showing that difference in temperature did not affect earlywood cell area in any of the four measured species. The number of cells within tree rings exhibited high inter-annual variability according to environmental factors. The fundamental hydraulic structure in trees is relatively rigid and insensitive to temperature, while trees plastically adjust the number of cells within the tree ring as a result of inter-annual climate variability and leaf production.

Keywords

Picea abies Picea engelmannii Pinus cembra Larix decidua Stem allometry Alpine treeline Conduit diameter Cell widening Wood anatomy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by Grant Agency of Charles University (GAUK 996216) and largely performed during the stay of J. Kašpar at the University of Padova. Sampling in Front Range was possible thanks to the Fulbright fellowship to V. Treml and logistic support from the Biogeography Lab, University of Colorado. Alison Garside is acknowledged for checking the English.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

468_2019_1887_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)

References

  1. Anfodillo T, Carraro V, Carrer M, Fior C, Rossi S (2006) Convergent tapering of xylem conduits in different woody species. New Phytol 169:279–290.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2005.01587.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Anfodillo T, Deslauriers A, Menardi R, Tedoldi L, Petit G, Rossi S (2012) Widening of xylem conduits in a conifer tree depends on the longer time of cell expansion downwards along the stem. J Exp Bot 63:837–845.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/err309 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Anfodillo T, Petit G, Crivellaro A (2013) Axial conduit widening in woody species: a still neglected anatomical pattern. IAWA J 34:352–364.  https://doi.org/10.1163/22941932-00000030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anfodillo T, Petit G, Sterck F, Lechthaler S, Olson ME (2016) Allometric trajectories and “stress”: a quantitative approach. Front Plant Sci.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01681 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryukhanova M, Fonti P (2013) Xylem plasticity allows rapid hydraulic adjustment to annual climatic variability. Trees 27:485–496.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-012-0802-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carrer M, Von A, Castagneri D, Petit G (2014) Distilling allometric and environmental information from time series of conduit size: the standardization issue and its relationship to tree hydraulic architecture. Tree Physiol 35:27–33.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpu108 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carrer M, Brunetti M, Castagneri D (2016) The imprint of extreme climate events in century-long time series of wood anatomical traits in high-elevation conifers. Front Plant Sci 7:1.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.00683 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Castagneri D, Petit G, Carrer M (2015) Divergent climate response on hydraulic-related xylem anatomical traits of Picea abies along a 900-m altitudinal gradient. Tree Physiol 35:1378–1387.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpv085 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cuny HE, Rathgeber CBK (2016) Xylogenesis: coniferous trees of temperate forests are listening to the climate tale during the growing season but only remember the last words! Plant Physiol 171:306–317.  https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.16.00037 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Cuny HE, Rathgeber CBK, Frank D, Fonti P, Fournier M (2014) Kinetics of tracheid development explain conifer tree-ring structure. New Phytol 203:1231–1241.  https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.12871 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Daly C, Halbleib M, Smith JI, Gibson WP, Doggett MK, Taylor GH, Curtis J, Pasteris PP (2008) Physiographically sensitive mapping of climatological temperature and precipitation across the conterminous United States. Int J Climatol 28:2031–2064.  https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1688 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Domec JC, Gartner BL (2002) How do water transport and water storage differ in coniferous earlywood and latewood? J Exp Bot 53:2369–2379.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erf100 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fonti P, Babushkina EA (2016) Tracheid anatomical responses to climate in a forest-steppe in Southern Siberia. Dendrochronologia 39:32–41.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2015.09.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fonti P, Bryukhanova MV, Myglan VS, Kirdyanov AV, Naumova OV, Vaganov EA (2013) Temperature-induced responses of xylem structure of Larix sibirica (Pinaceae) from the Russian Altay. Am J Bot 100:1332–1343.  https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1200484 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gärtner H, Schweingruber FH (2013) Microscopic preparation techniques for plant stem analysis. Verlag Dr Kessel, RemagenGoogle Scholar
  16. Gričar J, Zupančič M, Čufar K, Koch G, Schmitt U, Primož P (2006) Effect of local heating and cooling on cambial activity and cell differentiation in the stem of Norway spruce (Picea abies). Ann Bot 97:943–951.  https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcl050 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Gričar J, Zupančič M, Čufar K, Oven P (2007) Regular cambial activity and xylem and phloem formation in locally heated and cooled stem portions of Norway spruce. Wood Sci Technol 41:463–475.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-006-0109-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gruber A, Zimmermann J, Wieser G, Oberhuber W (2009) Effects of climate variables on intra-annual stem radial increment in Pinus cembra (L.) along the alpine treeline ecotone. Ann For Sci 66:503p1–503p11.  https://doi.org/10.1051/forest/2009038 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Körner C (1998) A re-assessment of high elevation treeline positions and their explanation. Oecologia 115:445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Körner C (2012) Treelines will be understood once the functional difference between a tree and a shrub is. Ambio 41:197–206.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-012-0313-2 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Körner C (2015) Paradigm shift in plant growth control. Curr Opin Plant Biol 25:107–114.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbi.2015.05.003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kwiatkowski J (1982) Skutečné srážky v Krkonoších. Opera Corconctica 19:45–64Google Scholar
  23. Losso A, Anfodillo T, Ganthaler A, Kofler W, Markl Y, Nardini A, Oberhuber W, Purin G, Mayr S (2018) Robustness of xylem properties in conifers: analyses of tracheid and pit dimensions along elevational transects. Tree Physiol 38:212–222.  https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpx168 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Olson ME, Anfodillo T, Rosell JA, Petit G, Crivellaro A, Isnard S, León-Gómez C, Alvarado-Cárdenas LO, Castorena M (2014) Universal hydraulics of the flowering plants: vessel diameter scales with stem length across angiosperm lineages, habits and climates. Ecol Lett 17:988–997.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12302 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Olson ME, Soriano D, Rosell JA, Anfodillo T, Donoghue MJ, Edwards EJ, León-Gómez C, Dawson T, Julio CM, Castorena M, Echeverría A, Espinosa CI, Fajardo A, Gazol A, Isnard S, Lima RS, Marcati CR, Méndez-Alonzo R (2018) Plant height and hydraulic vulnerability to drought and cold. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115:7551–7556.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721728115 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Olsson U (2005) Confidence intervals for the mean of a log-normal distribution. J Stat Educ.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10691898.2005.11910638 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pallardy SG (2008) Physiology of woody plants, 3rd edn. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  28. Panyushkina IP, Hughes MK, Vaganov EA, Munro MA (2003) Summer temperature in northeastern Siberia since 1642 reconstructed from tracheid dimensions and cell numbers of Larix cajanderi. Can J For Res 33:1905–1914.  https://doi.org/10.1139/x03-109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Paulsen J, Körner C (2001) GIS-analysis of tree-line elevation in the Swiss Alps suggests no exposure effect. J Veg Sci 12:817–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Paulsen J, Weber UM, Korner C (2000) Tree growth near treeline: abrupt or gradual reduction with altitude? Arct Antarct Alp Res 32:14.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1552405 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Petit G, Anfodillo T, Carraro V, Grani F, Carrer M (2011) Hydraulic constraints limit height growth in trees at high altitude. New Phytol 189:241–252.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03455.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Petit G, von Arx G, Kiorapostolou N, Lechthaler S, Prendin AL, Anfodillo T, Caldeira MC, Cochard H, Copini P, Crivellaro A, Delzon S, Gebauer R, Gričar J, Grönholm L, Hölttä T, Jyske T, Lavrič M, Lintunen A, Lobo-do-Vale R, Peltoniemi M, Peters RL, Robert EMR, Juan SR, Senfeldr M, Steppe K, Urban J, Van Camp J, Sterck F (2018) Tree differences in primary and secondary growth drive convergent scaling in leaf area to sapwood area across Europe. New Phytol 218(4):1383–1392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pohlert T (2014) The Pairwise Multiple Comparison of Mean Ranks Package (PMCMR). R package. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=PMCMR
  34. R Development Core Team (2017) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosell JA, Olson ME, Anfodillo T (2017) Scaling of xylem vessel diameter with plant size: causes, predictions, and outstanding questions. Curr For Rep 3:46–59.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40725-017-0049-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Anfodillo T, Carraro V (2007) Evidence of threshold temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers at high altitudes. Oecologia 152:1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-006-0625-7 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Griçar J, Seo JW, Rathgeber CBK, Anfodillo T, Morin H, Levanic T, Oven P, Jalkanen R (2008) Critical temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers of cold climates. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 17:696–707.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2008.00417.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rossi S, Anfodillo T, Cufar K, Cuny HE, Deslauriers A, Fonti P, Frank D, Gricar J, Gruber A, King GM, Krause C, Morin H, Oberhuber W, Prislan P, Rathgeber CBK (2013) A meta-analysis of cambium phenology and growth: linear and non-linear patterns in conifers of the northern hemisphere. Ann Bot 112:1911–1920.  https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mct243 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Rossi S, Anfodillo T, Čufar K, Cuny HE, Deslauriers A, Fonti P, Frank D, Gričar J, Gruber A, Huang JG, Jyske T, Kašpar J, King G, Krause C, Liang E, Mäkinen H, Morin H, Nöjd P, Oberhuber W, Prislan P, Rathgeber CBK, Saracino A, Swidrak I, Treml V (2016) Pattern of xylem phenology in conifers of cold ecosystems at the Northern Hemisphere. Glob Chang Biol 22:3804–3813.  https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13317 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Schulte PJ, Hacke UG, Schoonmaker AL (2015) Pit membrane structure is highly variable and accounts for a major resistance to water flow through tracheid pits in stems and roots of two boreal conifer species. New Phytol 208:102–113.  https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.13437 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Speer JH (2012) Fundamentals of tree-ring research. University of Arizona PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Sperry JS, Hacke UG, Pittermann J (2006) Size and function in conifer tracheids and angiosperm vessels. Am J Bot 93:1490–1500.  https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.93.10.1490 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Tyree MT, Evers FW (1991) The hydraulic architecture of trees and other woody plants. New Phytol 119:345–360.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb00035.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. von Arx G, Carrer M (2014) Roxas -A new tool to build centuries-long tracheid-lumen chronologies in conifers. Dendrochronologia 32:290–293.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2013.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Forest EcologyThe Silva Tarouca Research InstituteBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department Territorio e Sistemi Agro-ForestaliUniversity of PadovaLegnaroItaly

Personalised recommendations