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Effects of Temperature, Nutrient, and Moisture Stresses on Dormancy of Blue Spruce Seedlings under Continuous Light

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Blue spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.) seedlings do not become dormant, but grow continuously from seed under a 24-hour photoperiod. Three experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of stress levels of temperature, nutrients, and moisture on the growth of 2- to 3-month-old spruce seedlings under 24-hour photoperiods. Seedlings grown under constant temperatures of 12°, 18°, 25°, and 31°C did not set bud. Less growth occurred at 12° and 18° than at 25°, while 31°C caused browning and death of many seedlings. Low levels of nitrogen caused chlorosis in seedlings within 2 weeks and growth cessation with 100 percent bud set within 6 weeks. When the stress was relieved, all seedlings became green and broke bud within 2 weeks. Low levels of phosphorus and potassium resulted in less growth, but did not induce dormancy. Seedlings which were not watered for 36 days did not set bud, but stopped growth in 4 weeks and died within 5 weeks. Alternately drying to -15 bars and resoaking resulted in 50 percent bud set after the first resoaking, and bud break and resumption of growth 2 weeks later. Root to shoot ratio was decreased by low temperatures and increased by nutrient and moisture stress. A state of imposed dormancy can be induced in blue spruce seedlings under long days by nitrogen stress and moisture stress, provided the stress is not so severe as to prevent the active metabolic processes involved in bud set. Forest Sci. 24:458-467.

Keywords: Picea pungens; photoperiod; water stress

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Publication date: 1978-12-01

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

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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