Current issue: 54(2)
Vaccinium myrtillus L., Vaccinium uliginosum L. and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. are perennial, cold-adapted clonal shrubs distributed throughout Europe, northern Asia and North America. Due to their usage in food (berries) and pharmaceutical industry (berries and leaves), their natural populations are exposed to anthropogenic and other impacts that affect their genetic make-up. We analyzed 14 fragmentary distributed and small-sized peripheral populations of these species from the Balkans, which represents the southeastern-European marginal area of their wide European distributions, using RAPD molecular markers. The contemporary genetic patterns in all three species within the Balkans were generally similar, and in comparison to previous reports on populations of these species found in northward Europe, where they have a more continuous distribution, the levels of genetic diversity were more or less halved, genetic differentiation was several times higher, gene flow exceptionally low, and the expected prevalence of clonal individuals was lacking. The population dynamics of all three species within the Balkans was complex and distinct, and was characterized by a past admixture of individuals from discrete populations of the same species and interspecific hybridisation not only between V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea but also between V. uliginosum and V. vitis-idaea, the latter not being reported to date. Conservation measures suitable for preservation of presumably genetically distinct portions of the Balkans’ gene pools of studied species have been suggested, while the utility of interspecific hybrids in breeding programs and/ or in food/pharmaceutical industry is yet to be assessed.
The article gives examples of hybridization of forest tree and shrub species in the forests of New Zealand. According to the article, many of the 498 vascular plant species in the forest communities of the New Zealand region must be excluded from the standpoint of hybridism, because they belong either to genera of one species or are unable to cross owing to geographical or biological isolation. The hybrids are in most cases jordanons which cross, and may be more or less distantly related or closely related. The hybrids occur usually in polymorphic groups. Most of the hybrids in New Zealand are fertile. The hybrids can affect the forest communities in two ways; by effecting their composition or their structure. The article includes a list of hybrid groups.
Jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander.
Growth and nutrition of 20 clones representing different species and interspecific hybrids of willows (Salix spp.) growing on an abandoned field were studied. There were highly significant differences between the clones as regards the survival, number of sprouts per stool, sprout mean height and diameter and stem biomass production per stool. The differences between the clones in the concentration of all nutrients in both the leaves and stems were highly significant.
Transfer of southern provenances of trees to the north leads to an increased growth until the limit of hardiness is exceeded, which may be utilized in practical forestry. Selection from certain local provenances are important both for the immediate supply of seed and on a somewhat longer view. A certain degree of improvement can be achieved by avoiding minus regions and concentrating seed collection on better areas. Also, seeds can be collected from the best stands only, and by accepting only seed from the best trees of such stands. The selection can be strengthened considerably by production of seed orchards. The seed production is based on a small number of trees of particular superiority that are reproduced vegetatively. The clones are planted in an orchard, which pollinate each other.
Hybridization of two different provenances might result in an increased capacity of production. Such hybridized seed can be produced in orchards established, for instance, as a combination of selection and hybridization orchards. As regards the major Scandinavian tree species there are only small prospects of advancement through species hybridization. The method available at present for efficient racial improvement of our forest trees is individual selection in connection with seed production in orchards. In special cases, however, other methods such as transfer of provenances, provenance hybridization, species hybridization, and polyploidization will result in considerable progress.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
Male flowering was studied at the canopy level in 10 silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stands from 8 localities and 14 downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) stands from 10 localities in Finland in 1963–73. Distribution of cumulative pollen catches was compared to the normal Gaussian distribution. The basis for timing of flowering was the 50% point of the anthesis-fitted normal distribution. To eliminate effects of background pollen, only the central, normally distributed part of the cumulative distribution was used. Development was measured and tested in calendar days, in degree days (> 5°C) and in period units. The count of the parameters began in March 19.
Male flowering in silver birch occurred from late April to late June depending on latitude, and flowering in downy birch took place from early May to early July. The heat sums needed for male flowering varied in downy birch stands latitudinally but there was practically no latitudinal variation in silver birch flowering. The amount of male flowering in stands of the both species were found to have a large annual variation but without any clear periodicity.
The between years pollen catch variation in stands of either birch species did not show any significant latitudinal correlation in contrast to Norway spruce stands. The period unit heat sum gave the most accurate forecast of the timing of flowering for 60% of the silver birch stands and for 78.6% of the downy birch stands. Silver birch seems to have a local inclination for a more fixed flowering date compared to downy birch, which could mean a considerable photoperiodic influence on flowering time of silver birch. The species had different geographical correlations.
Frequent hybridization of the birch species occurs more often in Northern Finland than in more southerly latitudes. The different timing in the flowering causes increasing scatter in flowering times in the north, especially in the case of downy birch. Thus, the change of simultaneous flowering of the species increases northwards due to a more variable climate and higher altitudinal variation. Compared with conifers, the reproduction cycles of the two birch species were found to be well protected from damage by frost.