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Is long primary growth associated with stem sinuosity in Douglas-fir?

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Abstract:

Stem sinuosity is a highly visible stem-form trait in the leaders of fast-growing Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) trees, yet its cause is unknown. We tested the hypotheses that sinuous stems have longer expanses of primary growth than nonsinuous stems (putting the leader at higher risk for curvature, induction of compression wood formation, and possibly overcorrection) and higher leader angle using 4- to 5-year-old saplings in raised beds. As hypothesized, sinuous stems had longer expanses of primary growth than did nonsinuous stems (13.5 vs. 12.3 cm, respectively). However, for the dates for which growth (length/day, primary growth, secondary growth, and total growth) differed significantly among sinuosity class, sinuosity class only explained 15%–21% of the variation in growth rate. There were no significant differences in leader angle for saplings of the three sinuosity classes. Contingency tables indicated some consistency in the category of sinuosity to which we assigned the stems in 2001 and 2002 (2 = 11.2, p < 0.004). When we used a more quantitative measure, the ratio of stem length/stem distance, there was a tendency toward a significant relationship between the two years (r = 0.272, p = 0.0893). These data suggest that, counter to expectation, the rate of stem growth was not a large factor in determining whether leaders become sinuous for this population of trees.

La sinuosité de la tige est une caractéristique de la forme de la tige qui est facilement visible chez les pousses terminales des douglas de Menzies (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) à croissance rapide et dont la cause est jusqu'à présent inconnue. Nous avons testé les hypothèses voulant que les tiges sinueuses aient une croissance primaire plus étendue que les tiges non sinueuses (ce qui accentuerait les risques de courbure, d'induction de la formation de bois de compression et possiblement de correction excessive chez les pousses terminales) et un angle de croissance plus élevé en utilisant des gaules de 4 à 5 ans produites en plates-bandes. Comme nous l'avons supposé, les tiges sinueuses avaient une croissance primaire plus étendue que les tiges non sinueuses (respectivement 13,5 vs. 12,3 cm). Cependant, en ne considérant que les dates où la croissance (longueur/jour, croissance primaire, croissance secondaire et croissance totale) différait significativement entre les classes de sinuosité, la classe de sinuosité n'expliquait que 15 % – 21 % de la variation du taux de croissance. Il n'y avait pas de différences significatives dans l'angle de croissance des semis entre les trois classes de sinuosité. Les tableaux de contingence indiquaient qu'il y avait une certaine cohérence dans la catégorie de sinuosité à laquelle nous avions assigné les tiges en 2001 et 2002 (2 = 11,2, p < 0,004). Lorsque nous avons utilisé une mesure plus quantitative, soit le ratio de la longueur de la tige sur la distance de la tige, la relation entre les deux années avait tendance à être significative (r = 0,272, p = 0,0893). Contrairement à nos attentes, ces données indiquent que le taux de croissance de la tige n'était pas un facteur important pour déterminer si les pousses terminales allaient devenir sinueuses dans cette population d'arbres.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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