Structural Growth in Mountain Birch, Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: In this thesis, I have studied long shoot performance in the monoecious, deciduous tree Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii. In field studies and a common garden experiment, I have a) studied how environmental variations affect the performance of long shoots in mountain birch, and b) described the relationship between long shoot performance and characteristics of the parent long shoot.I have shown that difference in long shoot performance to some extent can be explained by environmental variables such as temperature, precipitation and global radiation the current and previous summer, annual soil and air temperatures, and the length of growing season. For example, a low summer temperature the previous summer had a negative effect on a majority of long shoot characteristics. Variation in shoot characteristics was of the same magnitude along the regional east-western gradient as along the local altitudinal gradient. Variation among individual trees was of the same magnitude as variation among years. Further, long shoot performance was affected by the parent shoot characteristics and reflects that primordia of different organs are formed in the previous summer. On several occasions, freezing damage to mountain birch has been observed on Mt Njulla in northernmost Sweden. Following such damage, fewer but larger leaves emerge. Damages were compensated for with increased number of buds on long shoots produced the same year and one year after damage. Moreover, there were more new long shoots born on short shoots among damaged trees. Dormant buds and short shoots fulfil important functions in a fluctuating environment and as an adaptation to recurring damages of different origin and severity.Differences in the performance among mountain birch saplings grown in a common-garden at Abisko could to a large degree be explained by their origin. Further, saplings from Sweden and from Iceland responded differently to defoliation, and fertilization did not alter the responses to defoliation.