, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 402–408 | Cite as

Intra-annual tracheid production in balsam fir stems and the effect of meteorological variables

  • Annie DeslauriersEmail author
  • Hubert Morin
Original Article


Tracheid production of balsam fir in the Québec boreal forest (Canada) was studied by repeated cell analysis to investigate the influence of meteorological variables during the growing seasons 1998 to 2000. Wood micro-cores were extracted on a weekly basis throughout the growing season and sections were prepared in order to count the total number of cells produced. From the weekly cell number obtained, the rate of tracheid production was calculated and correlated with meteorological variables. The average total number of cells produced per year was reasonably uniform, increasing only from 36.6 in 1998, to 41.1 in 2000. However, different cell production rates were noted during the growing season. Regression analysis revealed that the cell production rate was largely dependent on minimum air and soil temperature during most of the cell production period. Mean and maximum temperature had less influence on cell production. Moreover, the influence of temperature was higher during earlywood production mainly from the end of May to mid-July. Lagging the weather data by 1–5 days decreased the relationship between temperature and cell production, showing the high correspondence with the same interval where cell production was measured. These results suggest a fast response of the cambium to temperature variation during tree-ring formation.


Tracheid production Temperature Boreal forest Growing season Abies balsamea 



This work was funded by the Consortium de recherche sur la forêt boréale commerciale, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Le Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies


  1. Antonova GF, Stasova VV (1993) Effects of environmental factors on wood formation in Scots pine stems. Trees 7:214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonova GF, Stasova VV (1997) Effects of environmental factors on wood formation in larch (Larix sibirica Ldb.) stems. Trees 11:462–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Archambault S, Bergeron Y (1992) An 802-year tree-ring chronology from the Quebec boreal forest. Can J For Res 22:674–682Google Scholar
  4. Brooks JR, Flanagan LB, Ehleringer JR (1998) Responses of boreal conifers to climate fluctuations : indications from tree-ring widths and carbon isotope analyses. Can J For Res 28:524–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Camarero JJ, Guerrero-Campo J, Gutiérrez E (1998) Tree-ring growth and structure of Pinus uncinata and Pinus sylvestris in the Central Spanish Pyrenees. Arct Alp Res 30:1–10Google Scholar
  6. Cheng C, Gordon IL (2000) The Richards function and quantitative analysis of germination and dormancy in meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba). Seed Sci Res 10:265–277Google Scholar
  7. Creber GT, Chaloner WO (1990) Environmental influences on cambial activity. The vascular cambium. Wiley, New York, pp 159–189Google Scholar
  8. Dang QL, Lieffers VJ (1989) Climate and annual ring growth of black spruce in some Alberta peatlands. Can J Bot 67:1885–1889Google Scholar
  9. D’Arrigo RD, Jacoby GC, Free RM (1992) Tree-ring width and maximum latewood density at the North American tree line: parameters of climatic change. Can J For Res 22:1290–1296Google Scholar
  10. Denne MP (1971) Temperature and tracheid development in Pinus sylvestris seedlings. J Exp Bot 22:362–370Google Scholar
  11. Denne MP (1974) Effects of light intensity of tracheid dimensions in Picea sitchensis. Ann Bot 38:337–345Google Scholar
  12. Deslauriers A (2003) Dynamique de la croissance radiale et influence météorologique quotidienne chez le sapin baumier (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) en forêt boréale. Ph.D. dissertation. Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  13. Deslauriers A, Morin H, Bégin Y (2003a) Cellular phenology of annual ring formation of Abies balsamea in the Québec boreal forest (Canada). Can J For Res 33:190–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Deslauriers A, Morin H, Urbinati C, Carrer M (2003b) Daily weather response of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) stem radius increment from dendrometer analysis in the boreal forests of Québec (Canada). Trees 17:477–484Google Scholar
  15. Domisch T, Finér L, Lehto T (2001) Effect of soil temperature on biomass and carbohydrate allocation in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) at the beginning of the growing season. Tree Physiol 21:465–472PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Environnement Canada (1992) Sommaire métérologique mensuel, Chibougamau-Chapais, janvier-décembre 1992. Service Environnement atmosphérique, Environnement Canada, Ottawa, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  17. Ford ED, Robards AW, Piney MD (1978) Influence of environmental factors on cell production and differentiation in the earlywood of Picea sitchensis. Ann Bot 42:683–692Google Scholar
  18. Hofgaard A, Tardif J, Bergeron Y (1999) Dendroclimatic response of Picea mariana and Pinus banksiana along a latitudinal gradient in the eastern Canadian boreal forest. Can J For Res 29:1333–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Horacek P, Slezingerova J, Gandelova L (1999) Effects of environment on the xylogenesis of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). In: Wimmer R, Vetter R (eds) Tree-ring analysis: biological, methodological and environmental aspects. CABI, Wallingford, pp 33–53Google Scholar
  20. Kirdyanov AV, Hughes M, Vaganov EA, Schweingruber FH, Silkin P (2003) The importance of early summer temperature and date of snow melt for tree growth in the Siberian Subarctic. Trees 17:61–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kozlowski TT, Kramer PJ, Pallardy SG (1991) The physiological ecology of woody plants. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  22. Kozlowski TT, Pallardy SG (1997) Growth control in woody plants. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Landhäusser SM, Wein RW, Lange P (1996) Gas exchange and growth of three arctic tree-line tree species under different soil temperature and drought preconditioning regimes. Can J Bot 74:686–693Google Scholar
  24. Mäkinen H, Nöjd P, Kahle HP, Neumann U, Tveite B, Mielikäinen K, Röhle H, Spiecker H (2003) Large-scale climatic variability and radial increment variation of Picea abies (L.) Karst. in central and northern Europe. Trees 17:173–184Google Scholar
  25. Man R, Lieffers VJ (1997) Seasonal variations of photosynthetic capacities of white spruce (Picea glauca) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) saplings. Can J Bot 75:1766–1771Google Scholar
  26. Morin H (1994) Dynamics of balsam fir forest in relation to spruce budworm outbreaks in the Boreal Zone of Quebec. Can J For Res 24:730–741Google Scholar
  27. Richardson SD, Dinwoodie JM (1960) Studies on the physiology of xylem development. I. The effects of night temperature on tracheid size and wood density in conifers. J Inst Wood Sci 6:3–13Google Scholar
  28. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Morin H (2003) Application of the Gompertz equation for the study of xylem cell development. Dendrochronologia 21:1–7Google Scholar
  29. SAS (1990) SAS/STAT user’s guide, version 6, 4th edn., vol. 2. SAS, Cary, N.C.Google Scholar
  30. Uggla C, Mellerowicz EJ, Sundberg B (1998) Indole-3-acetic acid controls cambial growth in Scots pine by positional signalling. Plant Physiol 117:113–121CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Vaganov EA (1990) The tracheidogram method in tree-ring analysis and its application. In: Cook R, Kairiukstis L (eds) Methods of dendrochronology. Kluwer, Drodrecht, pp 63–76Google Scholar
  32. Vaganov EA (1996) Analysis of seasonal tree-ring formation and modeling in dendrochronology. In: Dean JS, Meko DM, Swetnam TW (eds) Tree-rings environment and humanity. Proc Int Conf, Tucson, Arizona, 17–21 May. Radiocarbon, pp 73–87Google Scholar
  33. Wang L, Payette S, Bégin Y (2002) Relationship between anatomical and densitometric characteristics of black spruce and summer temperature at tree line in northern Québec. Can J For Res 32:477–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wodzicki TJ (1971) Mechanism of xylem differentiation in Pinus silvestris L. J Exp Bot 22:670–687Google Scholar
  35. Zabuga VF, Zabuga GA (1990) Dynamics of morphometric indices of the annual ring of Scotch pine in the forest-steppe of the Western Lake Baikal region. Lesovedenie 2:46–53Google Scholar
  36. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département des sciences fondamentalesUniversité du Québec à ChicoutimiChicoutimiCanada
  2. 2.Present address: Dipartimento Territorio e sistemi Agro-ForestaliUniversità degli Studi di Padova AgripolisLegnaroItaly

Personalised recommendations