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Effects of Container Density and Plant Water Stress on Growth and Cold Hardiness of Douglas-fir Seedlings

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Four thousand Douglas-fir seedlings were grown in a greenhouse for 5 months in 45 ml plastic containers at densities of 270, 540, 810, and 1080 plants m-2. Those grown at lower densities were shorter and thicker stemmed with greater shoot and root dry weights, reduced leaf-water contents, and lower shoot-root ratios; they also exhibited a greater degree of cold hardiness. Compared with densely grown seedlings, those at low densities also received ten times more photosynthetically active radiation on their lower needles; their average midday water potential was three bars lower, and the average daytime soil temperature was 3°C higher. Lowering the xylem water potential of high-density seedlings from -6.5 to -12 bars by restricting watering during the growth period increased their subsequent ability to cold-harden, but decreased shoot and root growth and accelerated bud-set. Forest Sci. 22:167-172.

Keywords: Pseudotsuga menziesii; Spacing; containerized seedlings

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Nursery Ecologist, Forestry Research Center, Weyerhaeuser Company, 505 North Pearl Street, Centralia, Washington 98531

Publication date: June 1, 1976

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.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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