Advertisement

Trees

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 607–617 | Cite as

Development of heartwood in response to water stress for radiata pine in Southern New South Wales, Australia

  • Julian Moreno ChanEmail author
  • C. A. Raymond
  • J. C. F. Walker
Original Paper

Abstract

Heartwood development and other functional changes in stem conductance in response to water stress in radiata pine were investigated using two contrasting climatic areas (high-altitude sub-alpine vs. warm–dry inland) of the Hume region of New South Wales, Australia. The study included mature (34.5–36.5 years old) and young stands (10–11 years old) measured under normal climate and during an extreme drought. The effect of water stress on heartwood development was examined using sapwood percentage, sapwood saturation, development of dry sapwood and evidence of cavitation in sapwood. Trees at the warm–dry site developed heartwood at faster rates than on the high-altitude site. At breast height, the mature stands of the warm–dry site had 8–14 % less sapwood. Extensive cavitation towards the sapwood/heartwood boundary occurred in some of the mature and young stands on the warm–dry site. We postulated that in water-limiting environments, cavitation of the inner sapwood precedes heartwood formation and is an adaptation mechanism that regulates stem conductance capacity and thus water use in the tree. The drought of 2006 led to decreases in moisture associated with cavitation not previously reported for radiata pine and demonstrated the drought hardiness of the species. In the warm–dry site, breast-height sapwood saturation dropped to 58 and 82 % for suppressed and average-sized trees in a mature unthinned stand; and 75–78 % for two young stands. These saturation levels, however, only imply average values as some cells cavitated whilst others were fully saturated. Cavitation occurred in a localized fashion affecting small to large groups of cells.

Keywords

Radiata pine Water stress Heartwood/sapwood Sapwood saturation Cavitation Stem conductance 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This was a collaborative research project between The New Zealand School of Forestry and Forests New South Wales (FNSW), Australia. Special thanks to Dr. Ross Dickson, the Hume region and the Tumut Research office. The study was undertaken during the PhD studies of the first author who gratefully acknowledges funding from Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and Education New Zealand.

References

  1. Bamber RK (1976) Heartwood, its function and formation. Wood Sci and Technol 10:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bamber RK, Fukazawa K (1985) Sapwood and heartwood: a review. For Abstr 46(9):567–580Google Scholar
  3. Boardman R (1988) Living on the edge—the development of silviculture in South Australian pine plantations. Australian Forestry 51(3):135–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boardman R, McGuire DO (1997) Responses of Pinus radiata provenances near the warmth-dry limit of their potential range in a mediterranean-type climate. In: Proceedings of IUFRO’97 Genetics of radiata pine, Rotorua, New Zealand, 1–4 December 1997. Forest Research Bulletin No. 203Google Scholar
  5. BOM (Australian Bureau of Meteorology) 2006. http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/firewx/kbdi.shtml, visited 01/08/2006
  6. Booker RE (1989) Hypothesis to explain the characteristic appearance of aspirated pits. In: Proceeding 2nd Pacific Regional Wood Anatomy Conference, Oct 1989. Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Laguna, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  7. Boomsma DB, Hunter IR (1990) Effects of tree water, nutrients and their interactions on tree growth, and plantation forest management practices in Australasia: a review. For Ecol Manage 30:455–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butterfield B (2006) The structure of wood: form and function. In: Walker JCF (ed) Primary Wood Processing: Principles and practice, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chalk L, Bigg JM (1956) The distribution of moisture in the living stem of Sitka spruce and Douglas fir. Forestry 29:6–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cinnirella S, Magnani F, Saracino A, Borghetti M (2002) Response of a mature Pinus laricio plantation to a three-year restriction of water supply: structural and functional acclimation to drought. Tree Physiol 22:21–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grace J (1993) Consequences of xylem cavitation for plant water deficits. In: Smith JAC, Griffiths H (eds) Water Deficits: Plant Responses from Cell to Community. Bios Scientific Publications, Oxford, pp 109–128Google Scholar
  12. Harris JM (1954) Heartwood formation in Pinus radiata D. Don. New Phytol 53(3):517–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris JM (1961) Water conduction in the stems of certain conifers. Nature 189:678–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harris JM (1991) Formation of wood and bark. In: Kininmonth JA, Whitehouse LJ (eds) Properties and uses of New Zealand radiata pine, vol 1. Wood properties. Ministry of Forestry, Forest Research Institute, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  15. Haygreen JG, Bowyer JL (1996) Forest products and wood science: an introduction, 3rd edn. Iowa State University Press, AmesGoogle Scholar
  16. Hillis WE (1987) Heartwood and Tree Exudates. Springer-Verlag, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kininmonth JA (1991) Wood/water relationships. In: Kininmonth JA, Whitehouse LJ (eds) Properties and uses of New Zealand radiata pine, vol 1. Wood properties. Ministry of Forestry, Forest Research Institute, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  18. Maherali H, DeLucia EH (2000) Xylem conductivity and vulnerability to cavitation of ponderosa pine growing in contrasting climates. Tree Physiol 20:859–867PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Moreno Chan J (2007) Moisture content in radiata pine wood: implications for wood quality and water-stress response. PhD Thesis, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, pp 202Google Scholar
  20. Moreno Chan J, Raymond CA, Walker JC (2010) Non-destructive assessment of green density and moisture condition in plantation-grown radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don.) by increment core measurements. Holzforschung 64:521–528Google Scholar
  21. Moreno Chan J, Walker JCF, Raymond CA (2012) Variation in green density and moisture content of radiata pine trees in the Hume region of New South Wales. Australian Forestry 75(1):31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morris J, Benyon R (2005) Plantation water use. In: Nambiar EKS, Ferguson IS (eds) New Forests: wood production and environmental services. CSIRO publishing, Australia, pp 75–112Google Scholar
  23. Nambiar EKS (1995) Relationships between water, nutrients and productivity in Australian forests: application to wood production and quality. Plant Soil 168–169:427–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tyree MT, Sperry JS (1988) Do woody plants operate near the point of catastrophic xylem dysfunction caused by dynamic stress? Answers from a model. Plant Physiol 88:574–580PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tyree MT, Sperry JS (1989) Vulnerability of xylem to cavitation and embolism. Annual review of plant physiology and plant molecular biology 40:19–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Waring RH, Schroeder PE, Oren R (1982) Application of the pipe model theory to predict canopy leaf area. Can J For Res 12:556–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. White D, Beadle C, Worledge D, Honeysett J, Cherry M (1998) The influence of drought on the relationship between leaf and conducting sapwood area in Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus nitens. Trees 12:406–414Google Scholar
  28. Whitehead D (1978) The estimation of foliage area from sapwood area in Scots pine. Forestry 51(2):137–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Whitehead D, Beadle C (2004) Physiological regulation of productivity and water use in Eucalyptus: a review. For Ecol Manage 193:113–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Whitehead D, Edwards WRN, Jarvis PG (1984) Conducting sapwood area, foliage area, and permeability in mature trees of Picea sitchensis and Pinus contorta. Can J For Res 14:940–947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zahner R (1968) Water deficits and growth of trees. In: Kozlowski TT (ed) Water deficits and plant growth. Plant water consumption and response, vol II. Academic Press, New York, London, pp 191–254Google Scholar
  32. Zimmermann MH (1983) Xylem structure and the ascent of sap. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Moreno Chan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • C. A. Raymond
    • 3
  • J. C. F. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.NZ School of ForestryChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute for Commercial Forestry ResearchPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

Personalised recommendations