Canadian Forest Service Publications

Radiation and soil temperature interactions on the growth and physiology of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings. 2001. Boucher, J.-F.; Bernier, P.Y.; Munson, A.D. Plant Soil 236: 165-173.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 19573

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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A greenhouse experiment was set up during one growing season to test the hypothesis that soil temperature controls a significant part of the light response of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings that is observed in the field. The experimental design was a three by three factorial split-plot design, with three levels of light availability: 10%, 40% and 80% of full light; and three levels of soil temperature: 16 ◦C, 21 ◦C, and 26 ◦C in the soil at midday. The results show significant interactions between light and soil temperature factors on several variables (gas exchange, root growth, leaf-mass ratio and leaf–mass per unit area), but not on shoot dry mass. These interactions indicate that, in the field, a significant proportion of the light response of young eastern white pine could result from changes in soil temperature, especially under conditions of limiting water availability. Our results suggest that soil temperature must be taken explicitly into account as a driving variable when relating the growth of young eastern white pine to photosynthetic radiation.