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Flooding and SO2 Stress Interaction in Betula papyrifera and B. nigra Seedlings

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The effects of flooding of soil for 5 weeks and fumigation of shoots with 0.35 ppm SO2 for 30 hours, alone and in combination, were studied on Betula papyrifera Marsh. (paper birch) and Betula nigra L. (river birch) seedlings. B. papyrifera, an upland species, was adversely affected by flooding more severely than B. nigra, a lowland species. Symptoms of flooding injury in both species included stomatal closure, chlorosis, deterioration of root systems, and greatly reduced dry matter accumulation. Flooding induced formation of hypertrophied lenticels and adventitious roots in B. nigra but not B. papyrifera seedlings. Seedlings of both species recovered 1 to 2 wk after flooding ended and continued growing at a faster rate than unflooded seedlings, thereby partially or completely compensating for the growth-inhibiting effects of flooding. Fumigation with SO2 at the end of the flooding period induced partial stomatal closure, injury to leaves, and reductions in mean relative growth rates in both species. Stomatal conductance and SO2 uptake in B. nigra seedlings were reduced 40 and 45 percent by flooding, respectively, and consequently SO2 caused less visible injury (17 vs. 44 percent of leaf area) and less growth inhibition (0 vs. 26 percent in mean relative root growth rate) in flooded than in unflooded seedlings. Stomatal conductance and SO2 uptake were reduced even more in flooded B. papyrifera (75 and 77 percent, respectively), yet flooded and unflooded seedlings were similarly affected by SO2. Flooding stress apparently affected mechanisms of pollution avoidance and pollution tolerance differently in the two species. Forest Sci. 29:739-750.
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Keywords: Air pollution; stomatal conductance; stress resistance

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: A. J. Riker Professor, Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

Publication date: 1983-12-01

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    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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 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
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