Canadian Forest Service Publications

Influence of dormancy induction treatments on western hemlock seedlings. I. Seedling development and stock quality assessment. 1991. Grossnickle, S.C.; Arnott, J.T.; Major, J.E.; Tschaplinski, T.J. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21(2): 164-174.

Year: 1991

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 3125

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/x91-020

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Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) seedlings were grown in a greenhouse and subjected to four dormancy induction treatments (DIT) (i.e., long-day dry, long-day wet, short-day dry, and short-day wet) during midsummer. In the late summer and fall, seedling development was monitored and it was found that (1) short-day DIT caused a rapid cessation of shoot growth; (2) short-day DIT caused rapid fall development of needle primordia, while long-day DIT took until midwinter to produce the same number of needle primordia; and (3) short-day DIT seedlings had lower saturated and turgor loss point osmotic potentials and greater maximum modulus of elasticity in October than long-day DIT. Seedlings were tested with a comprehensive stock quality assessment procedure just before late winter field planting. These tests showed the following: (1) morphological parameters: short-day DIT reduced shoot to root ratios; (2) pressure-volume analysis: short-day wet seedlings had the lowest osmotic potentials at saturation and turgor loss point; (3) soluble sugar analysis: greater levels of total soluble sugars were found in non water stressed DIT compared with water stressed DIT seedlings; (4) seedling water movement: short-day DIT seedlings had the lowest resistance to water movement at low root temperature (5°C); (5) low root temperature response: short-day compared with long-day DIT seedlings had greater photosynthesis and stomatal conductance at low root temperatures; (6) root growth capacity: seedlings from all DIT were capable of growing roots at optimum root temperature (22°C), but short-day compared with long-day DIT had greater root growth at low root temperatures; (7) drought stress response: short-day wet seedlings had the highest photosynthesis and stomatal conductance levels as predawn shoot water potentials decreased; and (8) frost hardiness: short-day wet seedlings had the least needle damage when tested at temperatures of -15 and -18°C.