Allometry of early growth in selected and wild sources of white spruce, Picea glauca (Moench) Voss

Carolyn C. Pike, James C. Warren, Rebecca A Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

White spruce (Picea glauca) is commonly planted in timberlands of the upper Great Lakes region. Genetically improved seed, sourced from selected genotypes and propagated in seed orchards, is a primary seed source for artificial regeneration. Volume improvements gained by planting selected genotypes of Picea glauca sources range from 9 to 30 %; however, tradeoffs associated with selection for volume are relatively unexplored for allometry and needle traits. Biomass allocation is of particular interest, especially if increased wood production comes at the expense of root allocation. Open-pollinated seedlings from wild and selected genotypes were planted. Sixty seedlings per source were destructively sampled per year after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 growing seasons. Roots, stems, and needles were separated, dried and weighed. Tree height and caliper at root collar were measured, along with specific leaf area. Selected genotypes were allometrically similar to wild sources. Tree heights and biomass allocation were similar between sources during years 2–4. By year 5, selected genotypes averaged 30 % more volume and root mass than wild sources but maintained similar allometric ratios. SLA declined with each year and did not differ between sources. Our results suggest that superior volume growth in selected stock is not the result of alterations in biomass allocation or needle morphology: increases in stem mass were associated with tandem increases in root mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalNew Forests
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Growth
  • Juvenile growth
  • Ontogeny
  • Picea glauca
  • Tree improvement

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