Redistribution of 14C-labelled reserve carbon in Pinus sylvestris seedlings during shoot elongation
This study examined the later use of 14C reserves formed in previous autumn in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings. The seedlings were allowed to photosynthesise 14CO2 in early September when shoot and needle growth was over. The following spring the seedlings were harvested in five samplings during the shoot growth period. The distribution and concentration of 14C were determined and the results were compared with the growth data. It was observed that reserves were not used markedly for the new growth. Most of the 14C was found in one-year-old needles (30–40%) and in the root system (40–50%) which was due to both their high activity as a storage sink and their large sink size. The high initial 14C-activity in the finest roots decreased indicating respiration of reserves. Only a small percent of the reserve carbon was found in the new shoots which indicated that reserves are of minor importance in building a new shoot. An allocation of about 15% of the autumn storage to the stem suggested that in seedlings the stem is of minor importance as a storage organ.
Received 11 March 1997 Accepted 13 January 1998 Published 31 December 1998