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Survival and growth of Picea glauca seedlings as a function of freezing temperatures and exposure times during budbreak and shoot elongation

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The impact of freezing temperatures and exposure times during budbreak and shoot elongation on 10-month-old containerized white spruce seedlings [ Picea glauca (Moench) Voss] was studied. Seedlings were exposed to 0, −2, −4, −6, −8 and −10°C for 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h at four stages of budbreak and shoot elongation (stage 1: unswollen bud; stage 2: swollen bud; stage 3: bud scales parted by emerging needles; stage 4: 1-5 cm of terminal shoot growth). Seedling and terminal bud survival, viability of first-year needles (developed before frost exposure), terminal shoot length, stem diameter and aerial dry mass were measured 90 days after freezing exposure. Frost severity had a much greater influence on seedling survival, damage and subsequent growth than exposure time. The bud development stage at which freezing temperatures were applied also affected survival and subsequent growth.

Keywords: Cold tolerance; forest nurseries; seedling survival; spring frost

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculté de Foresterie et de Géomatique Université Laval Québec QC Canada G1K 7P4

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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