, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1449–1459 | Cite as

Cambial activity of Pinus elliottii var. densa reveals influence of seasonal insolation on growth dynamics in the Florida Keys

  • Grant L. HarleyEmail author
  • Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
  • Jennifer A. Franklin
  • Chad Anderson
  • Nesibe Köse
Original Paper


We determined the temporal and seasonal dynamics of intra-annual cell formation of south Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. densa Little & Dor.), the southernmost native pine in the United States and the foundation species of globally endangered pine rockland ecosystems. To assess intra-annual cambial activity and identify possible relationships between cell production and climatic factors, wood micro-cores were extracted monthly from six trees during the period March 2010 to March 2011. The results confirmed annual growth ring formation in P. elliottii var. densa and indicated that its growing season extends from February to December, with a short period of dormancy that varied little between individuals. Within the growing season, earlywood cells were produced from February to July, latewood cells produced from July to December, and intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) occurred in the growth rings of four of six trees between July and August. A principal component analysis indicated a homogeneous response of cambial activity among trees to site-specific climatic factors. The first principal component axis explained 71 % of the total variance in cell production during the study period. Our results indicated that the dynamics of seasonal cambial activity of P. elliottii var. densa are controlled by solar radiation (r = 0.51, p < 0.10) in the Florida Keys. The nature of our data allow us to only speculate on the ecophysiological processes responsible for IADFs in P. elliottii var. densa, and additional research is needed to better understand the relationship between their formation and the environment in the Lower Florida Keys.


South Florida Growing season Xylogenesis Tracheid production Slash pine Wood anatomy Intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs) Pine rockland ecosystem 



This research was funded by National Science Foundation grant BCS-1002479 and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. G.L. Harley was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DGE-0538420 and the University of Tennessee Yates Dissertation Fellowship. The authors thank Anne Morkill for access to the National Key Deer Refuge; Jennifer Adams at Everglades National Park for climate data; Katherine Perry and Joshua Albritton for field assistance; Zheng-Hua Li, Qunkang Cheng, Lisa Vito, and Mark Windham for laboratory assistance; and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved earlier drafts of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant L. Harley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
    • 1
  • Jennifer A. Franklin
    • 2
  • Chad Anderson
    • 3
  • Nesibe Köse
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of GeographyThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and FisheriesThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.United States Fish and Wildlife ServiceNational Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine KeyFloridaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest BotanyIstanbul UniversityBahçeköyTurkey

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