International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 1983–1991 | Cite as

The timing of bud break in warming conditions: variation among seven sympatric conifer species from Eastern Canada

  • Sergio Rossi
  • Nathalie Isabel
Original Paper


Phenological changes are expected with the ongoing global warming, which could create mismatches in the growth patterns among sympatric species or create synchrony with insect herbivores. In this study, we performed a comparative assessment of the timings of bud break among seven conifer species of Eastern Canada by evaluating seedling development in growth chambers under different temperatures (16, 20 and 24 °C). Bud break occurred earliest in Larix laricina, while Pinus strobus and Pinus resinosa had the latest. Warmer conditions advanced bud break, with the greatest effects being observed at the lower temperatures. Mixed models estimated that one additional degree of temperature produced advancements of 5.3 and 2.1 days at 16 and 20 °C, respectively. The hypothesis of an asynchronous change between species under warming was demonstrated only for the last phenological phases (split buds and exposed shoots), and principally in pines. Abies balsamea showed changes in bud break comparable with the other species analysed, rejecting the hypothesis of mismatches under warmer conditions. The observed non-linear responses of the timings of bud break to warming suggest that the major changes in bud phenology should be expected at the lowest temperatures.


Bud burst Temperature Boreal forest Non-linear relationship 



This work was funded by grants from Natural Resources Canada, Consortium de Recherche sur la Forêt Boréale Commerciale, and Canada Foundation for Innovation. The authors thank S. Carles, J. Gravel-Grenier and V. Néron for technical support and A. Garside for editing the English text.

Supplementary material

484_2017_1391_MOESM1_ESM.docx (255 kb)
Fig. S1 (DOCX 254 kb)
484_2017_1391_MOESM2_ESM.docx (557 kb)
Fig. S2 (DOCX 556 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département des Sciences FondamentalesUniversité du Québec à ChicoutimiChicoutimiCanada
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, South China Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest ServiceNatural Resources CanadaQuébec (Sainte-Foy)Canada

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