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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles by Lars Christersson

Category: Article

article id 5352, category Article
Lars Christersson, Heinrich A. von Fircks. (1988). Injuries to conifer seedlings caused by simulated summer frost and winter desiccation. Silva Fennica vol. 22 no. 3 article id 5352. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15509

Visible frost damage to forest trees in Sweden seldom occurs in winter but is frequent in late spring, summer and early autumn. Frosts are frequent in all seasons in various parts of Sweden, even in the southernmost part (lat. 56°, N) and temperatures may be as low as -10°C even around mid-summer. Ice crystal formation within the tissues, which in most seedlings takes place at around -2°C, causes injury, not the sub-zero temperatures themselves.

The apical meristem, the elongated zone, and the needles of seedlings of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. in a growing phase were damaged at about -3°C and those of Pinus sylvestris L. at about -6°C. Other species of the genus Pinus were tested and most were found to be damaged at about -6°C, with some variations. Picea species tested were damaged at about -3°C to -4°C.

A method has been designed to compare the response of different species to winter desiccation, which occurs under conditions of (1) low night temperature, (2) very high irradiation and increase in needle temperature during the photoperiod, (3) frozen soil, and (4) low wind speed. There were differences in response to winter desiccation between pine and spruce species. Seedlings of Pinus contorta tolerated these winter desiccation conditions much better than those of P. sylvestris or Picea abies. Picea mariana was the least tolerant of the species tested.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Christersson, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Fircks, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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