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Contribution of Different-aged Needles to Growth and Wood Formation of Young Red Pines

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Light-proof coverings were used to isolate Pinus resinosa Ait. needles of different-aged internodes for an entire growing season. The contribution of each complement of needles to growth of the current-year shoot was determined by weekly measurements of internodal extension and needle elongation, and to wood formation by anatomical evaluation of trees harvested periodically. Internodal extension in all treatments was primarily at the expense of reserve foods although additional complements of exposed needles improved growth considerably. The curves of needle elongation of trees with either the 2nd- or 3rd-year needles exposed alone were similar to the uncovered controls, but growth ceased earlier and total growth was reduced. Needles of the current-year shoot, when exposed alone to light, grew continuously with no indication of ceasing at the final harvest date. Diameter of the tracheids comprising the wood of the current-year internode paralleled, in general, the patterns of needle elongation; large-diameter tracheids were produced during periods of active or prolonged needle growth, and the transition to narrow-diameter tracheids was associated with the reduction or cessation of needle growth. The thick tracheid walls, typical of latewood, were first evident when the new shoot attained a certain stage of maturity. Tracheid wall thickness is therefore believed to be a function of net assimilation. Distribution of radial growth, primarily the latewood zone of the growth ring, was strongly influenced by the age of the needles exposed to light. Several probable explanations for the observed growth distributions are presented.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Plant Physiologist with the Lake States Forest Expt. Sta., Forest Service, U.S. Dept. Agric., is stationed at the Inst. of Forest Genetics, Rhinelander, Wis.

Publication date: 1964-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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