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Growth and Terminal Bud Formation in Picea abies Seedlings Grown with Alternating Diurnal Temperature and Different Light Qualities

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The root collar diameter and the height:diameter ratio are of particular importance in container-grown seedlings where a high density in the containers may produce spindly seedlings. Temperature regimes and light quality are known to affect plant growth. The aim of this study was to identify responses in Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings grown with light providing different red:far-red ratios and under temperature regimes with alternating day (DT) and night temperature (NT) from negative (DT < NT) to positive (DT > NT) difference (DIF) between DT and NT. Experiments were conducted in controlled environment chambers and in a daylight phytotron. Only limited thermoperiodic responses appeared in P . abies seedlings with respect to seedling height and dry weight accumulation. The formation of terminal buds, however, was clearly delayed in seedlings grown at negative DIF. The results indicate a requirement for day extension light that is high in far-red, to prevent terminal bud formation under natural short-day conditions. An extended study should be conducted to clarify the minimum level of light intensity and the optimal light quality needed to prevent terminal bud formation under natural short-day conditions.
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Keywords: EXTENSION; FROST; HEIGHT; LIGHT; NORWAY; QUALITY; RATIO; SEEDLING; SPRUCE; THERMOPERIODICITY; TOLERANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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