Sustained growth suppression in forest-floor seedlings of Sakhalin fir associated with previous-year springtime photoinhibition after a winter cutting of canopy trees
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Springtime photoinhibition in 1-year-old shoots, exacerbated by a clear-cutting during winter, was recently found to reduce the current-year shoot growth of forest-floor seedlings of Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis). In the present study, we conducted a follow-up survey in the following year in these seedlings, which were subjected to different cutting rates of canopy trees (100: clear-cutting, 66, 50, 30, and 0%: control) in the previous spring. No photoinhibition (Fv/Fm ≈ 0.8) was observed in the 1-year-old needles, developed after the cuttings in spring and summer, across the sites with different cutting rates. The ratio of current-shoot dry mass to 1-year-old needle dry mass (Shootcurrent/Needle1-year) measured in early summer, as a measure of photosynthetic carbon gain in the 1-year-old needles, showed an increasing trend with increasing growth irradiance when excluding the data of clear-cutting sites, which had a large variation. The variation in Shootcurrent/Needle1-year within the clear-cutting sites can be explained by the remaining amount of 2-year-old needles, which suggests that defoliation of 2-year-old needles damaged by photoinhibition in the previous spring may associate with a sustained suppression in the growth of current shoot even in the second year.
KeywordsCanopy tree cutting Defoliation Natural regeneration Photoinhibition Shoot growth
We thank H. Yamamoto for her skillful technical assistance. We gratefully acknowledge the staff of the Hokkaido Regional Forest Office for their valuable guidance in the experimental design and technical support to cut canopy tree. This study was supported in part by Research Grant #201420 of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, and by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP17K19301 and JP17F17102. Evgenios Agathokleous is a JSPS International Research Fellow (ID No: P17102). JSPS is a nonprofit, independent administrative institution.
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