Current issue: 54(5)
Under compilation: 55(1)
Phenology can have a profound effect on growth and climatic adaptability of long-lived, northern tree species such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), where the onset of growth in the spring is triggered mainly by accumulated heat, while cessation of growth is related to the joint effect of photoperiod and temperature. In this study, the objectives were: (1) to compare shoot phenology of genetic material from Scandinavia (maritime climate origin) and northern Russia (continental climate origin) sources, under field conditions in both Scandinavia and Russia (maritime and continental growth conditions); and (2) to estimate the heritabilities of phenological parameters. The material used was part of a larger provenance test series involving Scots pine populations and open-pollinated plus-tree families from Russia, Sweden and Finland. Terminal shoot elongation was measured on multiple occasions during the seventh growing season from seed at a trial near Bäcksjön (Sweden) and Syktyvkar (northern Russia). We calculated the regression of relative shoot elongation over accumulated heat sum above +5 °C using an exponential expression. Seedlings of Swedish and Russian provenance had similar heat-sum requirements for growth onset and cessation in both trials. More northern provenances started onset and cessation at a lower temperature sum, but heat accumulation requirements for onset were not fixed. Scots pine may suffer from spring frost due to earlier growth onset in a warming climate. Variation and heritability of phenological traits show potential to adapt Scots pine to new climate conditions by breeding.
Nursery grown Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) seedlings from 12 different seed orchards were tested for early autumn frost hardiness using artificial freezing tests. Seed orchards containing grafted parent clones originating from high altitudes produced seedlings showing higher damage than commercial control seed lots of the commercial controls. A seed orchard containing both German and Norwegian clones produced seedlings showing high damage. The correlation between bud-set and frost damage was high at the provenance level, but lower at the half- and full-sib-levels. Families with good growth capacity in progeny field tests showed large between-family variation in frost damage in the artificial freezing tests. This indicates the possibility to combine high growth rate with acceptable autumn frost hardiness in the selection of parent trees.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.