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Articles by Frank Berninger

Category: Commentary

article id 528, category Commentary
Annikki Mäkelä, Thomas J. Givnish, Frank Berninger, Thomas N. Buckley, Graham D. Farquhar, Pertti Hari. (2002). Challenges and opportunities of the optimality approach in plant ecology. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 3 article id 528. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.528
A meeting was held in Hyytiälä, Finland 10–12 April 2000 to assess critically the current challenges and limitations of the optimality approach in plant ecophysiology and botany. This article summarises the general discussions and views of the participants on the use of optimisation models as tools in plant ecophysiological research. A general framework of the evolutionary optimisation problem is sketched with a review of applications, typically involved with balanced regulation between parallel processes. The usefulness and limitations of the approach are discussed in terms of published examples, with special reference to model testing. We conclude that, regardless of inevitable problems of model formulation, wider application of the optimality approach could provide a step forward in plant ecophysiology. A major role of evolutionary theory in this process is simply the formulation of testable hypotheses, the evaluation of which can lead to important advances in our ecophysiological understanding and predictive ability.
  • Mäkelä, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: annikki.makela@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Givnish, University of Wisconsin, Department of Botany, Madison, WI 53706 USA ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berninger, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Buckley, Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting and Environmental Biology Group, and Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, ACT 2601, Australia ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Farquhar, Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting and Environmental Biology Group, and Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, ACT 2601, Australia ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Hari, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Research article

article id 95, category Research article
Venceslas Goudiaby, Suzanne Brais, Yvon Grenier, Frank Berninger. (2011). Thinning effects on jack pine and black spruce photosynthesis in eastern boreal forests of Canada. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 4 article id 95. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.95
A decrease in the average diameter of commercially harvested tree species in the Eastern boreal forest of Canada has led to a decrease in availability of quality wood for the forest industry. Commercial thinning has been proposed as a means to increase stem diameter growth. However, little is known about physiological responses underlying species responses to thinning. We assessed the effect of canopy opening on the photosynthetic response of mature jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) trees. Two years after thinning and for each species, light response curves and the diurnal course of photosynthesis were characterized from measurements taken in a completely randomized block experiment on current-year and one-year-old needles of 12 trees from stands subjected to different levels of canopy opening. Soil water content, air and soil temperatures, and needle N concentration were not affected by thinning for either species. However, light availability increased with basal area removed and could explain the significantly positive relationship between thinning intensity and diurnal course of photosynthesis for one-year-old needles of jack pine. Black spruce photosynthesis did not respond to increases in light. Light-saturated rate of net photosynthesis (Amax), photosynthetic efficiency (α), light compensation point (LCP), and diurnal respiration (Rd) did not vary with thinning for either of the species. Jack pine and black spruce responses to thinning should be interpreted in light of species autecology.
  • Goudiaby, NSERC/UQAT/UQÀM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: venceslas.goudiaby@uqat.ca (email)
  • Brais, NSERC/UQAT/UQÀM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Grenier, NSERC/UQAT/UQÀM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berninger, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 292, category Research article
Sanna Susiluoto, Frank Berninger. (2007). Interactions between morphological and physiological drought responses in Eucalyptus microtheca. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 2 article id 292. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.292
We studied the response of Eucalyptus microtheca to drought in a greenhouse experiment. As a result of the drought the growth of the seedlings decreased and allocation patterns changed so that allocation to the roots increased. However, changes in photosynthesis and stomatal conductance under drought were rather modest. We showed, using chlorophyll fluorescence and measurements of photosynthesis under high CO2 that the biochemical capacity of photosynthesis increased under drought. The results suggest that changes in root/shoot ratio are the primary reactions that initiate a series of compensatory reactions that mitigate the effects of drought in Eucalyptus microtheca.
  • Susiluoto, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, PL 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: sannamaija.susiluoto@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Berninger, Departement des Sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 Succ Centre Ville, Montreal, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 348, category Research article
Chunyang Li, Xuejiang Zhang, Xingliang Liu, Olavi Luukkanen, Frank Berninger. (2006). Leaf morphological and physiological responses of Quercus aquifolioides along an altitudinal gradient. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 1 article id 348. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.348
Quercus aquifolioides Rehder & E.H. Wilson, an evergreen alpine and subalpine shrub species, occupies a wide range of habitats on the eastern slopes of the Himalaya in China. In this study, we measured leaf morphology, nitrogen content and carbon isotope composition (as an indicator of water use efficiency) of Q. aquifolioides along an altitudinal gradient. We found that these leaf morphological and physiological responses to altitudinal gradients were non-linear with increasing altitude. Specific leaf area, stomatal length and index increased with increasing altitude below 2800 m, but decreased with increasing altitude above 2800 m. In contrast, leaf nitrogen content per unit area and carbon isotope composition showed opposite change patterns. Specific leaf area seemed to be the most important parameter that determined the carbon isotope composition along the altitudinal gradient. Our results suggest that near 2800 m in altitude could be the optimum zone for growth and development of Q. aquifolioides, and highlight the importance of the influence of altitude in research on plant physiological ecology.
  • Li, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 416, Chengdu 610041, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail: licy@cib.ac.cn (email)
  • Zhang, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 416, Chengdu 610041, P. R. China; Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, P.R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Liu, Sichuan Academy of Forestry, Chengdu 610081, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Luukkanen, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berninger, Département des sciences biologiques, Cp 8888 succ centre ville, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal (QC) H3C 3P8, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 412, category Research article
Xingliang Liu, Haiyun Xu, Frank Berninger, Olavi Luukkanen, Chunyang Li. (2004). Nutrient distribution in Picea likiangensis trees growing in a plantation in West Sichuan, Southwest China. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 3 article id 412. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.412
We measured nutrient distribution of Picea likiangensis (Franchet) E. Pritzel var. balfouriana trees growing in a plantation by field investigations, sample tree and plot harvest in West Sichuan, Southwest China. Based on the results in this study, the total biomass of plant compartments in plantation ecosystem was 114 829.1 kg ha–1. Tree, shrub, herb, bryophyte and litter layers accounted for 93.9%, 0.9%, 0.02%, 0.04%, 5.2%, respectively. The total biomass of tree layers was 107 817.1 kg ha–1. Needles, branches, stem wood, stem bark and roots accounted for 13.2%, 19.7%, 42.3%, 10.0% and 14.8%, respectively. The concentration of the nutrients was generally highest in the actively growing parts of the trees (e.g. needles) and lowest in the structural and not actively growing parts (e.g. stem wood). On the other hand, the concentrations of N, P, K and Mg were generally higher in the current year needles and branches than in the older needles and branches. These nutrient concentrations were also higher in the upper stem wood and bark than in the lower stem wood and bark, and in small roots than in large roots, whereas the opposite patterns were observed for the concentration of Ca in these compartments. The results will be helpful in understanding the nutrient behavior in a highly productive forest plantation and thereby providing decisive information for their sustainable management.
  • Liu, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 416, Chengdu 610041, P. R. China; Sichuan Academy of Forestry, Chengdu 610081, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Xu, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O.Box 416, Chengdu 610041, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berninger, Département des sciences biologiques, Cp 8888 succ centre ville, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal (QC) H3C 3P8, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Luukkanen, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute, P.O. Box 28, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Li, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O.Box 416, Chengdu 610041, P. R. China; Viikki Tropical Resources Institute, P.O. Box 28, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: licy@cib.ac.cn (email)

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