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Matti Rousi (email), Boy J.H.M. Possen, Risto Hagqvist, Barb R. Thomas

From the Arctic Circle to the Canadian prairies – a case study of silver birch acclimation capacity

Rousi M., Possen B. J.H.M., Hagqvist R., Thomas B. R. (2012). From the Arctic Circle to the Canadian prairies – a case study of silver birch acclimation capacity. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 3 article id 46. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.46

Abstract

Earlier provenance research has indicated poor success even in short distance transfers (> 2–3° latitude) of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) southward from their origin. These results may indicate poor adaptability of silver birch to a warming climate. Some of the scenarios for a warming climate in Finland suggest effective heat sums are likely to double in the north and increase 1.5 fold in the south for the period of 2070–2099. Consequently, the outlook for silver birch appears bleak. To study the acclimation of birch to this projected change we established a provenance trial in northeastern Alberta, Canada, at the temperature area currently predicted for Central Finland (lat. 64–66°N) at the turn of this century (1400 dd). Our 10-year experiment showed that all the Finnish provenances (origins 61–67°N) have acclimated well to the warmer growth conditions experienced in Alberta at 54°N. These results suggest that silver birch has the potential to acclimate to thermal conditions predicted for Finland at the end of the 21st century. Our results also indicate that silver birch has the potential as a plantation species in Canada, where the Finnish birch grew faster in the boreal forest region of Canada than local paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) provenances.

Keywords
acclimation; Betula papyrifera; Betula pendula; birch adaptability; critical night length; provenance transfers

Author Info
  • Rousi, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland E-mail matti.rousi@metla.fi (email)
  • Possen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland E-mail bjhmp@nn.fi
  • Hagqvist, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland E-mail rh@nn.fi
  • Thomas, University of Alberta, Dept of Renewable Resources, Edmonton & Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Boyle, Alberta, Canada E-mail brt@nn.ca

Received 1 March 2012 Accepted 2 July 2012 Published 31 December 2012

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Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.46 | Download PDF

Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 4.0

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