, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 358-364
Date: 12 Sep 2009

Resource level as a proximate factor influencing fluctuations in male flower production in Cryptomeria japonica D. Don

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Abstract

Airborne pollen of Cryptomeria japonica causes severe pollinosis, and the number of people suffering from pollinosis has increased rapidly during recent decades. Male flower production in C. japonica shows annual variability; thus, predicting male flower production for the following spring could be a countermeasure against pollinosis. We analyzed factors that explain fluctuations in male flower production of C. japonica according to parameters reflecting internal resource dynamics based on field observations. In addition, we carried out experiments to regulate available resource levels using artificial shading to test the effect of internal resource levels on the number of male flowers produced. We found that temperature and precipitation in the previous summer and a relative increase in male flower production in the previous year were negatively related, whereas sunshine duration in the previous summer and diameter at breast height were positively related to the current year increase in male flower production. The number of male flowers was significantly reduced by the shading treatment and was positively correlated with the amount of total non-structural carbohydrates in the root. These results suggest that understanding the parameters controlling internal resource levels could lead to more accurate predictions of male flower production.