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Variation in Juvenile Growth Rhythm among Picea abies Provenances from the Baltic States and the Adjacent Regions

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Knowledge on the pattern of variation in growth rhythm among Baltic Picea abies populations is limited. Growth rhythm of 108 Picea abies provenances from the Baltic states, north-eastern Poland, western Russia, north-western Belarus, Sweden and southern Finland was studied for three growth periods in two nursery trials located in central Sweden and in central Lithuania. Damage by natural frost desiccation was assessed at an age of two years in the Swedish trial. Variation among the Baltic provenances in juvenile growth rhythm traits was essentially clinal over latitude and longitude. According to a multiple regression function, a change in 1° of latitude corresponded to 2.4° degree change in longitude. When moving from the north-eastern part of Poland towards north-east, the seedlings became shorter and more tolerant to frost desiccation with earlier budburst and budset. Photoperiod and temperature climate were identified as the main determinants for the clinal variation among the Baltic populations of Picea abies in growth rhythm traits over the ecological gradients from south to north and from coastalto inland sites.
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Keywords: CLINAL VARIATION; DESICCATION; FROST; NORWAY; NURSERY; PHENOLOGY; SPRUCE; TRIAL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-07-01

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