Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(3)
Seedlings of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. full-sib families of contrasting origins were cultivated in a phytotron under different photoperiodic, light-intensity and temperature treatments during their first growth period. The effects of the treatments on juvenile growth traits – whether enhanced or delayed maturation was induces – were observed during the two subsequent growth periods. The following hypotheses were tested: (A) Enhanced maturation can be induced in the first growth period from sowing with (i) a long period of continuous light during active growth (24 weeks vs. 8 weeks); (ii) a shorter night during bud maturation (12 h vs. 16 h); high temperature (25°C vs. 20°C) during (iii) active growth, growth cessation and bud maturation; and during (iv) the latter part of growth cessation and bud maturation only. (B) Delayed maturation can be induced after (i) low light intensity during growth cessation and bud maturation (114 μmol m-2 s-1 vs. 340 μmol m-2 s-1); low temperature (15°C vs. 20°C) during (ii) active growth, growth cessation and bud maturation; and during (iii) the latter part of growth cessation and bud maturation only.
The most dramatic effect was observed after 24 weeks of continuous light during active growth. All traits showed a significantly more mature performance in the second growth period compared with the control. The effect for all but one trait was carried over to the third growth period. This is in accordance with the hypothesis that the activity of apical shoot meristems controls the maturation process. For the other treatments there was only weak or no support for the hypothesis of induction of enhanced or delayed maturation. Strong family effects were observed for all traits. Differential responses of the various latitudinal families were observed, suggesting that family effects must be considered to predict and interpret correctly how plants will respond to environmental effects.
Germination tests in varying photoperiod- and temperature-regimes showed that for early autumn collections, germination of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seeds is delayed, especially at low incubation temperature (+10°C) and in darkness. The presence of light during germination (8- or 24-hour photoperiod) or high incubation temperature (+20°C) enhanced germination. As autumn proceeded, a greater proportion of seed were able of germinate in darkness and also in low temperature regime. This result was consistent in both populations studied – in seeds from natural stand (Hyytiälä, Southern Finland) and in seeds from the Hyytiälä clone archive trees, growing in the same site.
An attempt was made to relate the development of germinability during autumn to previously accumulated chilling unit (optimum temperature +3.5°C) sum. Germination percent variation in subsequent cone-collection could not, however, be explained with accumulated chilling.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.