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Assessment of seedling storability of Quercus robur and Pinus sylvestris

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Pedunculate oak ( Quercus robur L.) and Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were lifted on several occasions during autumn 1997 to determine the relationships between storability and frost hardiness. On each lifting date their physiological status was determined by assessment of shoot and root electrolyte leakage and frost hardiness, assessed as freeze-induced electrolyte leakage. Additional seedlings were simultaneously cold-stored for field planting and assessment of preplanting root growth potential in April 1998. First year field performance was determined the following winter. Storability and cold acclimation patterns differed between the two species. Both were negatively affected by early lifting, but oak was less sensitive with respect to survival, and pine attained tolerance to cold storage more rapidly and earlier with respect to growth increment. The correlations between shoot frost hardiness and performance suggest that freeze-induced shoot electrolyte leakage (SELdiff-20) below a threshold of 5% is a good storability predictor for Scots pine in Denmark. A completely reliable criterion for pedunculate oak could not be established.
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Keywords: Cold storage; Scots pine; electrolyte leakage; freeze testing; frost hardiness; lifting date; oak; root growth potential

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Horticulture, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Aarslev, Denmark

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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