Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
Competitive interactions in clonal forestry are not well understood and this needs to be addressed to develop better deployment strategies. Eight juvenile Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carriére) clones were grown in monoclonal and clonal mixtures in a field experiment for three years to assess the effects of genetic diversity on shoot growth, above- and below-ground biomass partitioning and crown characteristics. Shoot elongation was measured throughout the growing season, while diameter was measured twice annually in May and December. After the third year, crown silhouette area was estimated from digitised images for one ramet per plot and ramets were then destructively harvested. Deployment × clone interactions were observed for tree height and diameter with reductions observed in mixed plots. Mixed plots had significantly greater height and diameter heterogeneity and more asymmetrical competition than monoclonal plots. Results from this study demonstrate that stem growth can be significantly altered when clones are planted in multi-clonal mixtures but for most clones, deployment-type will not significantly reduce their productivity.
Micropropagated and seed-borne plants of sliver birch (Betula pendula Roth) were compared for survival and growth in a field trial at the age of six years. Three clones for micropropagation were selected from open-pollinated progenies of selected southern Finnish plus trees at the age of 17 and 20. The three seed-borne lots were of southern Finnish stand origin. The best two lots of the experiment as regards the height and diameter growth at the age of six were the clones. The best of these differed significantly from the best-growing seed-grown lot. The weakest lot of the experiment was also a clone which was clearly slow-growing with a dense and bushy crown. Survival of the material was high (mean = 94%), and there was no damage caused by voles and elks, for example. The results clearly show that the selection of material for clonal propagation should be done carefully. The clones should also be tested for performance in the field before propagation on a large scale.
For biomass forestry in the inland parts of Southern and Central Finland, the obvious choice of willow species is Salix myrsinifolia. However, selection of clones of indigenous species has not yet been completed and more research and selection is needed. In the Piipsanneva old peatland trial, indigenous species of willow, mostly clones of S. myrsinifolia and S. phylicifolia, were compared in terms of biomass production, coppicing, height growth and diameter distributions. In this trial, the mean annual biomass production was not particularly high; more important results were attained in the ranking of clones. The trial strengthens the hypothesis that, over the long-term, the biomass production of S. myrsinifolia is higher than that of S. phylicifolia. It was supposed that behind the highest yield there was a clone with uniform quality, one whose diameter distribution would be narrow and positively skewed. Comparisons of parameters of Weibull functions showed that the distributions of the best clones were wide, indicating that those clones use the whole growth space better than those with narrow distribution.
Growth and nutrition of 20 clones representing different species and interspecific hybrids of willows (Salix spp.) growing on an abandoned field were studied. There were highly significant differences between the clones as regards the survival, number of sprouts per stool, sprout mean height and diameter and stem biomass production per stool. The differences between the clones in the concentration of all nutrients in both the leaves and stems were highly significant.
The aim of the study was to obtain information needed in preparing more precise fertilization recommendations for seed orchards. The fertilization requirement was estimated on basis of soil and needle analyses, and by investigating the effects of different fertilization treatments on male and female flowering, size of seed crop and seed quality.
The study was carried out in two Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seed orchards in Southern Finland, one established on forest soil in 1971 and 1972, and the other on a peat field in 1974. 10 clones and 39 grafts from each clone were selected randomly from both orchards in autumn 1985. The treatments consisted of N, P and K in various combinations, micronutrients, wood ash and grass control. The orchards were fertilized in spring 1986.
There were statistically significant differences between the clones in both orchards as regards amount of flowers, size of the seed crop and seed quality. The annual variation in flowering and the size of the seed crop was also large. In general, the seeds from cones collected in October matured well and their germination percentage was high. The effects of fertilization on flowering, the size of seed crop and seed quality were small. It would appear that the size of the crop can be affected to a much greater extent by favouring clones with a high seed-producing capacity than through fertilization. Fertilization is unnecessary if the nutrient status of the soil is satisfactory.
In a greenhouse experiment that lasted for two years, nitrogenase activity, height growth and biomass production was compared in six clones of alder of which four were clones of Alnus incana and two A. incana x A. glutinos hybrids. In addition, the effect of a fertilizer nitrogen gradient was tested on one of the clones.
Clonal differences in height growth and nitrogenase activity were recorded at the end of the first growing season. The growth rhythm of some of the clones changed markedly during the second growing season but differences in nitrogenase activity between clones levelled out. Nitrogen fertilization suppressed nodulation during the first growing season, and also the following year the nitrogenase activity was significantly higher in alders grown without nitrogen supplement. Height growth and total biomass production was also depressed at rather low nitrogen levels.
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In order to be recorded in the national list of untested seed orchards, set by law, a seed orchard must attain certain objectives. It is impossible to define universal requirements for all categories of seed orchards of all species. The present paper suggests minimum requirements for a clonal region seed orchards of Pinus sylvestris L in Finland. The clonal composition as well as factors influencing on the mating pattern have been given precise numerical threshold values. To be approved the seed orchard must fulfil all the requirements at the same time. The goal is to control the genetic superiority of the forest reproductive material obtained from registered untested seed orchards.
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Male and female flowering, cone crop, and some vegetative characteristics were studied in grafts 10 to 16 years of age in a clonal seed orchard of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Genetic variation was found between clones in flowering as well as in cone production. Clone evaluation resulted in similar classifications of clones in different years. A regression analysis showed that crown size clearly increased but previous height growth slightly decreased flowering and cone production. The percentage of pollinated female strobili did not differ between clones.
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Clone stands of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn.) wood small reed (Calamagrostis epigeios L.) and lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis L.) are often partly split into two by the road, but often encountered also unilaterally on the roadside in the shape of a semicircle. The unilateral stands can be at times 20–30 m wide and they are sometimes solitary stands of the species. A method to define the age of the solitary stands of six plant species including bracken, wood small reed and lily-of-the-valley was developed in a series of earlier studies.
These stands can be used to define the time the road was built. Clones that are bound by the road unilaterally are younger than the road. If there are several unilateral clones and they are of different sizes, the road is older than the largest clone. When the road is skirted bilaterally only by clones divided by the road, it is younger than the smallest clone. When there are by the road side both unilaterally delimited clones and clones split by the road, the age of the road comes in the range of time determined by the age difference between the largest unilateral and smallest bilateral clone.
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The net photosynthetic rate per unit of foliage was studied in two-year old cuttings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), representing four clones, at varying temperature and soil moisture. The CO2 compensation point (Γ), photorespiration, dark respiration, and water balance were also investigated. All these characteristics indicated differences among the clones. A correlation between CO2 exchange and transpiration suggested that stomatal control determined at least a part of this variation during a favourable water balance. An inverse relationship existed between Γ and net photosynthetic rate, and the same curvilinear model explained this variation in unstressed as well as stressed plants at a given temperature. An increase in Γ seems to be a normal result of water stress, particularly at high temperature, indicating an increase in mesophyll resistance to CO2 diffusion. This result was in agreement with calculated values of mesophyll resistance. It also supported our earlier conclusions about the significance of mesophyll resistance during water stress.
The present study is a part of larger project into the size and age of certain forest plants. This study seeks to confirm the size-age relationship of Lycopodium clavatum L. and L. annotium L. stands, and the time of sporal regeneration. The stand dimensions were plotted against the size of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) and ground pine (Lycopodium complanatum L.) stands growing on the same site, and against the age of the timber and the time of fire on the site.
The method based on parallel measurements carried out in burned forests has proved to be suitable for establishing the rate of spreading of stands and their age. The three club-moss species proved to be much alike in their sporal regeneration. They, as well as bracken, regenerate under the condition created by fire. The largest detached patches are often clones. Both Lycopodium clavatum and L. annotium survive fire poorly. Thus, the maximum size of the clones is usually connected with the last forest fire. Pieces of the shoots may survive the fires.
Sporal regeneration of these species also occur without the aid of fire. As also variation in the annual growth of the shoots can be considerable, the stand size of these species is not as good indicator of the date of fire as with Pteridium aquilinum and L. complanatum. The winding appearance of the shoots increases the error in determination of stand age by the stand size further.
The results emphasize the importance of taking into account the time and spread of the plants in the traditional vegetation analysis. A central question is: what is an individual.
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