Canadian Forest Service Publications

Frost hardiness, bud phenology and growth of containerized Picea mariana seedlings grown at three nitrogen levels and three temperature regimes. 1996. Bigras, F.J.; Gonzalez, A.; D'aoust, A.L.; Hébert, C. New Forests 12: 243-259.

Year: 1996

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16734

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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We studied the influence of temperature and near- and sub- optimal mineral nutrition of black spruce seedlings (Picea mariana [Mill] B.S.P.) during their second growing period on bud set, bud development, growth, mineral content and cold tolerance. Bud break and growth after bud break were also studied. Seedlings were grown for 106 d in growth chambers under three temperature regimes in combination with three concentrations of a fertilizer. They were then cold hardened for 56 d and dehardened for 66 d.

Under these near- and sub-optimal N levels, bud formation occurred during the growing season. Bud formation was accelerated with decreasing fertilization, but was not affected by temperature treatments. Needles from seedlings with 0.64% N (dry mass basis) before hardening did not harden. Those with 0.87% N showed a lesser degree of hardiness than those with 1.28% N. Stem diameter increased at the beginning of the hardening period. During this acclimation period, shoot dry mass decreased with time at a constant rate and at the same rate over time for all treatments whereas root dry mass was more variable. Total number of needle primordia was low and no difference was observed among growing conditions. Bud break was similar in all treatments. Following bud break, shoot height and stem diameter increases were small but their magnitude varied with the nutritional regimes applied during the previous growing period. During hardening, nitrogen concentration of shoot tissues first increased and then decreased; phosphorus concentration first increased and then remained stable; potassium concentration remained stable. Cencentration of these three elements generally decreased in the roots during this hardening.