The relation between growth cessation and frost hardening in Scots pines of different origins
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- Repo, T., Zhang, G., Ryyppö, A. et al. Trees (2000) 14: 456. doi:10.1007/s004680000059
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The cessation of shoot elongation, diameter growth and needle elongation were compared with the initiation of frost hardening of the stems and needles in an 8-year-old provenance trial of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) established in central Finland. The saplings were of six different origins ranging from Estonia to northern Finland, forming a latitudinal gradient of ca. 10°N. The frost hardiness of the stems of current-year shoots was assessed by electrical impedance analysis and that of current-year needles by electrolyte leakage and visual scoring of damage. Artificial freezing tests were used in the assessments. The pattern of growth cessation (shoot and needle elongation, diameter growth) tended to follow the latitude of origin, i.e. growth ceased in the northernmost provenance first and in the southernmost one last. Both stems and needles of the northern provenances hardened earlier than the southern ones, but the differences in hardiness disappeared as hardening progressed. Growth cessation and initial hardening to –15°C were clearly correlated at the provenance level, indicating that growth must cease prior to hardening, and that earlier cessation of growth predicts earlier frost hardening of stems and needles. No differences in frost hardiness of stems were found at the provenance level at the end of the growing period in August. At that time, the frost hardiness of needles of the northernmost provenance was higher than that of other origins. Within the provenance, the stems were less hardy than the needles.