Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
Germination of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) pollen decreased during exposure to open air conditions. Usually more than half of the pollen remained germinative after a few days outdoors, but following more than four days outdoors the germination became very low. This study supports the opinion that pollen in the atmosphere remains viable long enough to allow for long-distance gene flow by pollen migration, as an important factor in genetic management of conifers and in evolution, maintaining diversity and potential for adaptation.
The effect of three pesticides containing either dimethoate (0.5% a.i.), permitrin (0.5%) or triadimephon (0.5%) on the cone pests and flowering biology of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) was tested in a seed orchard in mid-May or in the beginning of June. The pesticide treatments significantly reduced infestation by Laspeyresia strobiella and Kaltenbachiella strobi only. Variation in the number of cones infested by both insects and cone rusts was high between the spruce clones. Generally, the pesticides did not affect flower viability, seed quality or seed germination, but reduced drastically the germination capacity of pollen in vitro. In practice, sufficient control cannot be achieved with concentrations or methods used in the present study.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
An attempt was made to estimate critically the genetic gain in clonal seed orchards of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Finland. The selection differential of Scots pine and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) is calculated on the basis of filed information on selected plus trees which has been kept by the genetic register at the Finnish Forest Research Institute. The differentials were computed as realized differences in height between plus-trees and normal stand characteristics on respectively site class and as a function of age.
The genetic gain in height growth of Pinus sylvestris was computed on the basis of information on selection differential and heritability. This genetic gain is between 2.6–4.4% provided there is no pollen contamination from unknown sources outside the seed orchard. The genetic gain of volume growth in Scots pine is about 7–15%, provided there is no pollen contamination in the seed orchard. However, according to investigations, there is invariably some pollen contamination in this kind of seed orchards. The contamination decreases to about 30–50% as the orchard matures and starts to produce endemic pollen. If the pollination would be entirely due to foreign pollen sources, the mathematically calculated genetic gain would be 3.5–7.5%.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The paper presents preliminary results of paleobotanical studies on vegetation in Åland, south-west Finland. The investigations concentrated on studying arrival of tree species and stratigraphy of peatlands. According to the studies, some plant fossils found in the peat (Ceratophyllum submersum, Sparagnium neglectum, Najas flexilis) indicate that climate of the region has earlier been warmer than at the present. The present forests in Åland are dominated by coniferous species, but the pollen analysis of the peat indicate that Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) became a common species in the region about by the time of Christ’s birth. The species has reached its present distribution in Åland relatively late. The pollen analyses give relatively little information about the arrival of birch (Betula sp.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), but it seems obvious that occurrence of birch reached its culmination just before spruce. During the warm period common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) was the most important species, and also pollen of oak (Quercus robur L.), kinden (Tilia cordata L.) and elm (Ulmus sp.) was relatively common in the peat of some of the studied peatlands. An interesting finding was the pollen of Carpinus betulus in many sites in Åland.
The PDF includes a Finnish and German summary.
Pollen analysis has given information on development of the tree species composition after the ice age, but this kind of studies have not been published in Finland. In this study, pollen analysis was performed in five peatlands in the southwest Finland. According to the analysis, the forests of the area have had similar tree species composition for many thousands of years. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) has been the dominant species as long as there has been Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in the area. Norway spruce seems to have arrived about 4,500 years ago. It increased slowly in the beginning, and after reaching a maximum has been slowly decreasing. Before spruce arrived, Betula sp. was more abundant, and seemed to be the dominant tree species in some places. Traces of fire in the peat layers indicate that forest fires have been common before people arrived in the area, and may have beneficial to birch. Like Betula sp., also Alnus sp. were more common before spruce arrived. Also pollen of other broadleaved species, for example, Tilia sp., Ulmus sp. and Corylus could be found. However, Quercus pollen was not found. The paludification of the peatlands had begun at different times which indicates that there has not been a common cause for the development of the peatlands in the area.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
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.
Anthesis was studied at the canopy level in 10 Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) stands from 9 localities in Finland was studied in 1963-74. Distribution of pollen catches were compared with the normal Gaussian distribution. The basis for the timing studies was the 50% point of the anthesis-fitted normal distribution. Development was characterized in calendar days, in degree days (>5°C) and in period units. The count of each unit began on March 19 (included). Male flowering in Norway spruce stands was found to have more annual variation in quantity than in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands studied earlier.
Anthesis in spruce in Northern Finland occurred at a later date than in the south. The heat sums needed for anthesis varied latitudinally less in spruce than in pine. The variation of pollen catches in spruce increased towards north-west as in the case of Scots pine. In the unprocessed data, calendar days were found to be the most accurate forecast of anthesis in Norway spruce. Locally, the period unit could be a more accurate parameter for the stand average. However, on a calendar day basis, when annual deviations between expected and measured heat sums were converted to days, period units were narrowly superior to days.
The geographical correlations respected to timing of flowering, calculated against distances measured along simulated post-glacial micgation routes, were stronger than purely latitudinal correlations. Effects of the reinvasion of Norway spruce into Finland are thus still visible in spruce populations just as they were in Scots pine populations.
The proportion of the average annual heat sum needed for spruce anthesis grew rapidly north of a latitude of ca. 63° and the heat sum needed for anthesis decreased only slightly towards the timberline. In light of flowering phenology, it seems probable that north-western third of Finnish Norway spruce populations are incompletely adapted to the prevailing cold climate. A moderate warming of the climate would therefore be beneficial for Norway spruce. This accords roughly with the adaptive situation in Scots pine
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Timing of anthesis in 21 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands from 14 localities in Finland was studied at the canopy level in 1963-74. Distribution of pollen catches were compared with the normal Gaussian distribution. The basis for the timing studies was the 50 per cent point of the anthesis-fitted normal distribution. Development was characterized in calendar days, in degree days (>5°C) and in period units. The count of each unit began on March 19 (included).
Period unit was found to be the most accurate delineation of development. Locally, calendar days were sometimes a more accurate parameter. Anthesis in Northern Finland occurred at a later date than in the south as was expected, but at lower heat sum. The variation in the timing of anthesis and the variation of pollen catches increased northwards. The geographical correlations calculated against distances measured along simulated post-glacial migration routes were stronger than purely latitudinal correlations. Effects of the reinvasion of Scots pine into Finland are thus still visible in pine populations.
The proportion of the average annual heat sum needed for anthesis grew rapidly above a latitude of 63° even though the heat sum needed for anthesis decreased towards the timberline. In light of flowering phenology, it seemed probable that the northern populations in Scots pine in Finland have still not completely adapted to the prevailing cold climate at these latitudes. A moderate warming of the climate would therefore be beneficial for Scots pine.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Colchicine is widely used as a mutagen to induce production of diploid gametes in plants. However, whether colchicine affects induced pollen viability remains unclear. To clarify whether colchicine affected the viability of induced pollen, we induced production of diploid pollen by colchicine, followed by pollen germination in vitro and crossing induced pollen with normal gametes to produce triploid in Populus tomentosa Carrière. The results showed that the predominant meiotic stages and the number of colchicine injections had significant effects on the occurrence rates of induced 2n pollen. When the colchicine injection was given at diakinesis, a significant decrease in the pollen production per bud was observed (p < 0.001). The morphology of the colchicine-induced 2n pollen was similar to that of the natural 2n pollen in its ectexine structure. The pollen germination experiments revealed that there was also no significant difference in germination rates between the induced diploid pollen and natural 2n pollen grains, and 68 triploids were created by crossing colchicine-induced pollen. Our findings revealed that colchicine injection could induce P. tomentosa to produce 2n pollen and will not lead to dysfunction of induced diploid pollen.
In Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), it has been shown that the parental conditions have a role in the phenological variation among first-year seedlings. For this reason, it is argued that they should be comprehensively controlled before estimating the parental genotype effects. This controlled-cross study examined the effects of a set of fathers of Scots pines on the timing of budset and autumn frost hardening of first-year seedlings. The paternal genotypes had either a northern or southern provenance, but had spent a period of over 25 years as grafts in a shared climatic environment in two closely located southern orchards. Pollen applied in the crosses was collected from these orchards in one year and all the maternal genotypes were pollinated in only one seed orchard. The results of freeze tests and budset observations of the consequent progeny were analysed and additionally compared with results obtained using seedlings from seed lots of natural forests in order to estimate the ability of northern paternal genotypes to maintain a northern effect under southern conditions. This environmentally controlled study demonstrated a significant effect of the paternal genotype on the budset and autumn frost hardening of first-year seedling of Scots pine. With the applied study design, no significant indication of an environmental influence on the effect of the paternal genotype was obtained. The accuracy of the observations is discussed. It is concluded that the results suggest a minor role of mutability in the effects of Scots pine paternal genotypes.
As part of a multi-year monitoring study of pollination dynamics in a second generation Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seed orchard, we estimated with the aid of eight microsatellite markers three important reproductive biology characteristics affecting the genetic worth and diversity of seed crops; namely parental reproductive success, pollen contamination, and selfing rate. The obtained results were compared to those from two previous years to gauge appropriate seed crop management practices and ultimately allow approximate generalization of seed crop genetic quality. We determined that 80% of parental gametes were produced by 52% of the parents, 13% of paternal gametes resulted from pollen contamination (i.e., gene flow), and 12% of the seed were the product of selfing. The obtained results were in line with those observed for 2005 and 2009 where 80% of gametes being produced by 37–48% of the parents, 10–18% pollen contamination, and 15–17% selfing rate. The observed reproductive biology parameters differences are attributable to the various crop management practices implemented (i.e., bloom delay and supplemental-mass-pollination) across years and calls for justification due to the observed minimal differences on seed crops genetic quality.