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Needle longevity of Scots pine in relation to foliar nitrogen content, specific leaf area, and shoot growth in different forest types

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The aim of the study was to examine whether the variation in needle longevity of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is of a community-specific nature. Altogether 300 trees were examined in Vaccinium, dry heath, and pine bog forests in Estonia. Mean number of needle age-classes was 4.1 for all forest types, while mean survivorship of needles averaged 70% in Vaccinium forests and 80% in the others (p < 0.01). Mean mass-based nitrogen content (Nm) of the needles was the highest in Vaccinium forests (11.8 mg·g–1, p < 0.05) and lower in dry heath (10.4 mg·g–1) and pine bog (9.8 mg·g–1) forests. Specific leaf area (SLA) did not differ between Vaccinium (6.3 mm2·mg–1) and dry heath (6.0 mm2·mg–1) forests but was lower in pine bog forests (5.5 mm2·mg–1, p < 0.05). Shoot length increment was the smallest in pine bog forests (45.1 mm·year–1, p < 0.05) and did not differ between Vaccinium (92.2 mm·year–1) and dry heath (95.2 mm·year–1) forests. Our findings confirm that the small-scale variation in needle longevity of Scots pine has a community-specific pattern and is in accordance with the trends in Nm and SLA.

Le but de l'étude consistait à examiner si la longévité des aiguilles chez le pin sylvestre (Pinus sylvestris L.) est inhérente à chaque communauté. Trois cents arbres ont été examinés en Estonie dans des forêts à Vaccinium, des forêts sèches à bruyère et des pinèdes tourbeuses. Le nombre moyen de classes d'âge des aiguilles était de 4,1 pour tous les types forestiers alors que le taux de survie moyen des aiguilles était de 70% dans les forêts à Vaccinium et de 80% dans les autres types (p < 0,01). Le contenu moyen en azote sur la base de la masse (Nm) des aiguilles était le plus élevé dans les forêts à Vaccinium (11,8 mg·g–1, p < 0,05) et plus faible dans les forêts sèches à bruyère (10,4 mg·g–1) et les pinèdes tourbeuses (9,8 mg·g–1). La surface foliaire spécifique (SFS) ne variait pas entre les forêts à Vaccinium (6,3 mm2·mg–1) et les forêts sèches à bruyère (6,0 mm2·mg–1) mais était plus faible dans les pinèdes tourbeuses (5,5 mm2·g–1, p < 0.05). La croissance en longueur de la pousse terminale était la plus faible dans les pinèdes tourbeuses (45,1 mm·an–1, p < 0,05) et était comparable dans les forêts à Vaccinium (92,2 mm·an–1) et les forêts sèches à bruyère (95,2 mm·an–1). Nos résultats confirment que la variation à petite échelle de la longévité des aiguilles du pin sylvestre suit un patron spécifique aux communautés et qu'elle suit les tendances de la Nm et de la SFS.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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