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Germination Responses of Northern Red Maple (Acer rubrum) Populations

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Samaras of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) were collected at six locations at the northern edge of its distribution. Two populations from southern Québec, in the deciduous forest, and four populations at its northern limit in the boreal forest were selected. Germination responses of these populations were evaluated in growth chambers and in the field. The effects of cold moist stratification, temperature (20/10°C, 10/1°C) and light intensity (750 mol • m-2 • s-1, 160 mol • m-2 • s-1) were evaluated in growth chambers. Seeds collected at the two most southern sites had 46% to 90% germination without stratification, while germination without stratification varied between 0% to 41% for the four most northern populations. In the six populations tested, the highest germination percentages were obtained at 10/1°C under low light conditions. Cold moist stratification enhanced germination of the four most northern populations. We observed in the field experiment that germination occurred during the summer months for sites located in the deciduous forest, while germination was delayed until the next spring for the sites located in the boreal forest. The percentages of seedling emergence in the field were similar under shade and nonshade conditions. Overall, our results indicate a marked degree of dormancy in the most northern populations. The heterogeneous germination response of northern red maple populations could be associated with the temperature regime at the collection site. For. Sci. 42(2):154-159.
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Keywords: Red maple; germination dormancy; light; temperature

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Groupe de recherche en Écologie forestière and Département des sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succ. A, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3P8

Publication date: 1996-05-01

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.

    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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