Canadian Forest Service Publications

Springtime resumption of photosynthesis in balsam fir (Abies balsamea) 2008. Goodine, G.; Lavigne, M.B.; Krasowski, M.J. Tree Physiology 28: 1069-1076.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28750

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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Photosynthesis in balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) was measured in the field at two locations in New Brunswick, Canada from late winter to late spring in 2004 and 2005. No photosynthesis was detectable while the soil remained below 0°C throughout the rooting zone. In both years, photosynthesis began once soil temperature rose to 0°C. In potted seedlings in growth chambers, there was no photosynthesis at an air temperature of 10°C if the pots were frozen. These findings suggest that, once air temperatures permit photosynthesis, it is the availability of unfrozen soil water that triggers the onset of photosynthesis. In the field, full recovery of photosynthetic capacity following the onset of soil thaw was dependent on air temperature and took 5 weeks in 2005, but 10 weeks in 2004. There were two substantial frost events during the recovery period in 2004 that may explain the extended recovery period. In 2005, recovery was complete after the accumulation of 200 growing degree days above 0°C after the start of soil thaw.