New Forests

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 87–103 | Cite as

Natural Variation in Seed Characteristics of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

  • Thomas L. Noland
  • William C. Parker
  • Andrée E. Morneault


Natural variation in seed characteristics of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) trees and its relationship with the size, form, and crown class of parent trees was examined in second-growth, white pine mixedwood stands in Ontario. Cones were collected prior to and following partial harvesting of two stands during 2 years of above-average seed production. Fully enlarged seed extracted from mature cones was X-rayed to determine seed yield per cone, the percentage of sound, partially filled, and empty seed, and the sound seed mass for each tree. Variation in seed yield per cone, the proportion of sound, partially filled, and empty seed, and seed mass was much greater among individuals than between stands or seed years. The strength and significance of the relationship of seed mass with sound seed yield differed with stand and seed year. In uncut stands, seed mass was higher for trees with dominant crown class, larger live crown ratios, and smaller height to diameter ratios, suggesting tree vigour and microsite quality influence seed mass. Proportion of partially filled seeds was significantly reduced in both stands in the second year likely due to increased growing degree days during female gametophyte development. The implications of these results to natural and artificial regeneration of white pine are discussed.


Inbreeding Natural regeneration Planting Seed mass Seed yield Shelterwood 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Noland
    • 1
  • William C. Parker
    • 1
  • Andrée E. Morneault
    • 2
  1. 1.Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Forest Research InstituteSault Ste. MarieCanada
  2. 2.Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Forest Research and Development SectionNorth BayCanada

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