Sundberg B, Ericsson A, Little CHA, Nasholm T, Gref R
The Relationship between Crown Size and Ring Width in Pinus- Sylvestris L Stems - Dependence on Indole- 3- Acetic- Acid, Carbohydrates and Nitrogen in the Cambial Region
Tree Physiology: 1993 12:347-362
Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), carbohydrates, total nitrogen and amino acids in the cambial region and bark were measured at the top (10-year-old internode) and bottom (1.3 m) of the main stem of 50-year-old Pinus sylvestris L. trees, having different rates and longitudinal gradients of annual ring width formation. The trees were sampled during the most active period of wood production (June 23, July 15) and at the end of this period (August 23). Trees with a small crown and relatively slow growth rate (S-trees) were compared with trees in the same stand that had a large crown and fast growth rate (F-trees) as a result of thinning and fertilization. The effect of bottom pruning fast-growing trees (pruned F-trees) was also investigated. The F-trees had greater wood production than the S-trees at both the stem top and bottom. The difference was larger at the stem bottom, thus the relative decrease in ring width down the stem was steeper in the S-trees. The amount of sucrose and IAA per cm2 in cambial region tissues was higher in F-trees than in S-trees. However, the differences in annual ring width between treatments and within trees were not reflected in the concentrations (expressed per gram fresh weight) of these substances, measured either in differentiating xylem, the cambium plus phloem, or in the cambial region as a whole. The concentrations of total nitrogen and amino acids were slightly higher in the F-trees than in the S-trees. Pruning the F-trees reduced wood production, particularly at the stem bottom, inhibited the springtime increase in starch, and decreased the amounts of sucrose and IAA per cm2 in the cambial region. However, it was evident that the concentrations of sucrose, IAA, amino acid and nitrogen in the cambial region were not related to ring width. During June and July, the concentrations of these substances were generally higher at the stem bottom in the pruned F-trees than in the F-trees. The results provide evidence that it is the activity of the cambium rather than the availability of carbohydrates that determines the allocation of wood production along the tree stem. The results also indicate that tracheid production is not directly related to the IAA concentration in the cambial region.
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