Current issue: 54(2)
Light is an important environmental factor for all green plants. Its intensity, spectral composition and photoperiod can affect the regulatory pathways in plants that lead to floral initiation. In this report, results are presented from three experiments in which supplemental light with metal halide lamps (250 µmol m–2 s–1, 20 hours day–1, approx. 6 weeks) was tested as a complement to other flowering stimulation treatments (elevated temperature, treatment with gibberellin A4 and A 7 (GA4/7), restricted water supply) applied to potted Picea abies (L.) Karst. in the greenhouse. Flower stimulation in a greenhouse resulted in more floral initiation compared to flower stimulation outdoors. Supplemental light treatment increased floral initiation further, and to a larger extent in female than in male flowers. It also increased the proportion of trees and genotypes that induced reproductive buds. In a practical application of the supplemental light treatment to potted Picea abies breeding material, 90.6% of the clones produced either female or male flowers, or both. A subset of the same material kept outdoors, and thus subjected to natural light and temperatures, produced no flowers despite being treated with GA4/7 and receiving a restricted water supply. In conclusion, supplemental light treatment facilitates breeding programmes, and seed production of highly improved base material from new selections for vegetative production programmes, to be more efficient.
The seed crop of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is predicted with the help of mean monthly temperatures during May–August one and two years before the flowering year. The prediction models were made separately for Lapland and for the rest of Finland. The models are based on 10-year periods of seed crop measurements and climatic data. The total number of time series was 59.
In Lapland, Norway spruce flowered abundantly and produced an abundant seed crop after warm July–August and two years after cool July–August. In other parts of Finland, warm June and July produced a good flowering year, especially if these months were cool two years before the flowering year.
In Lapland, Scots pine flowered abundantly if the whole previous growing season was warm. Elsewhere in Finland, a cool June preceded prolific flowering in the coming year if the rest of the growing season was considerably warmer than the average.
The prediction models explained 37–49 % of the variation in the size of the seed crop. The occurrence of good and poor seed years was usually predicted correctly. Using the presented models, the prediction of the seed crop is obtainable 1.5 year for Norway spruce and 2.5 year for Scots pine before the year of seed fall.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.