Canadian Forest Service Publications

Influence of photoperiod on shoot and root frost tolerance and bud phenology of white spruce seedlings (Picea glauca). 1993. Bigras, F.J.; D'aoust, A.L. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 23: 219-228.

Year: 1993

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16474

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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To determine frost tolerance of shoots and roots and the phenology of apical buds under different photoperiods during hardening and dehardening. 16-week-old white spruce seedlings (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) were hardened in growth chambers under 8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-h photoperiods for 14 d at 15:10°C, followed by 14 d at each of the day:night temperatures of 12:8°C, 10:5°C, 5:2°C under 13-h photoperiod, and finally, stored for 35 d at 0:0°C in darkness. Afterwards, deacclimation conditions consisted of 14 d at 10:5°C and 17 d at 15:10°C with 15-h photoperiod. Frost tolerance was assessed at intervals, and phenology of apical buds was monitored by visual examination. The root dry mass remaining after removal of dead tissue was weighed 30 d after the freezing test to estimate frost damage to the root system. Results showed that hardening of shoots was influenced by photoperiod, whereas hardening of roots responded only to temperature. Frost tolerance of shoots was enhanced and bud formation accelerated under 8-h photoperiod. After 56 d of acclimation, frost tolerance of shoots reached -30, -17, -17, and -12°C under photoperiods of 8, 10, 12, and 14 h, respectively. Bud break occurred earlier, in a similar fashion for plants treated with 8- and 10-h photoperiods. The root dry mass remaining after removal of dead tissue provided a reliable estimate of frost damage to root systems. Finally, we propose that short-day treatment accelerates and long-day treatment delays the dormancy development, thus causing all developmental processes to be affected. Consequently, hardiness development can also be accelerated by short-day treatment or delayed by long-day treatment, resulting in faster rates of hardening, dehardening, and bud break for seedlings of the short-day treatment, whereas long-day treatment delays those processes. These results complement the analysis of dehardening and bud break in the degree growth stage model described by L.H. Fuchigami and coworkers.