Canadian Forest Service Publications

Irrigation control and physiological responses of nursery-grown black spruce seedlings (1+0) cultivated in air-slit containers. 2004. Bergeron, O.; Lamhamedi, M.S.; Margolis, H.A.; Bernier, P.Y.; Stowe, D.C. HortScience 39: 599-605.

Year: 2004

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25282

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Air-slit containerized (IPL 25-350A) black spruce [Picea mariana (Mill) BSP; 1+0) seedlings, were subjected to four irrigation regimes (IR-15%, IR-30%, IR-45%, and IR-60%, by volume, cm3 water/cm3 substrate) under tunnel conditions in a forest nursery. Irrigation regimes were controlled by time-domain reflectometry during the first growing season. With exception of midday water potential, water relation and gas exchange variables were unaffected by substrate water content. There were no significant differences in height, diameter or number of needle primordia of the seedlings grown under IR-15%, IR-30%, and IR-45%. Seedlings grown in a substrate with a high water content (IR-60%) had lower oven-dry biomass and higher cuticular transpiration rates than seedlings grown under the three other irrigation regimes. Root hydraulic conductivity was not affected by irrigation regime, but showed a general decrease towards the end of the growing season. Variation in root hydraulic conductivity was most likely related to root growth and degree of lignification. Seedlings that had been exposed to IR-60% during the first growing season remained smaller than the other seedlings throughout the second growing season. Results of this study indicate that nursery managers can reduce the quantity of irrigation water used without significantly affecting the growth or physiology of air-slit containerized black spruce seedlings (1+0) grown under tunnel condition.

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