Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 13–25 | Cite as

Genetic structure of needle morphological and anatomical traits of Pinus yunnanensis

  • Yujie Huang
  • Jianfeng Mao
  • Zhiqiang Chen
  • Jingxiang Meng
  • Yulan Xu
  • Anan Duan
  • Yue LiEmail author


Pinus yunnanensis Franch. is an particular conifer tree species in Yunnan–Guizhou plateau in southwest China. The morphological and anatomical traits of needles are important to evaluate geographic variation and population dynamics of conifer species. Seedlings from seven populations of P. yunnanensis were analyzed, looking at 22 morphological and anatomical needle traits. The results showed that variations among and within populations were significantly different for all traits and the variance components within populations were generally higher than that among populations in the most tested needle traits. The proportions of three-needle fascicle were significantly different among populations. The traits related to needle size in both morphology and anatomy were positive with latitude and negative with annual temperature and precipitation. Ratio indices, including mesophyll area/vascular bundle area, mesophyll area/resin canals area, vascular bundle area/resin canals area and mesophyll area/(resin canals area and vascular bundle area), were negatively correlated with elevation and positively correlated with the annual mean temperature, showing some fitness feature for the populations. Needle traits were more significantly correlated with longitude than with other four environmental factors. Needle length was significantly correlated with almost all environmental factors. First four principal components accounted for 81.596 % of the variation with eigenvalues >1; the differences among populations were mainly dependent on needle width, stomatal density, section areas of vascular bundle, total resin canals, and mesophyll, as well as area ratio traits. Seven populations were divided into three categories by Euclidean distance. Variations in needle traits among the populations have shown systematic microevolution in terms of geographic impact on P. yunnanensis. This study would provide empirical data to characterize adaptation and genetic variation of P. yunnanensis, which would be helpful for management of genetic resources and reasonable utilization of them in future.


Genetic structure Needle Morphological and anatomical traits Geographic population Pinus yunnanensis 



We would like to express our gratitude to Hu-Wei Yuan, Li-Ming Wang, Fang-Qun Ouyang and Fang-Qian Xing for their kind help.


  1. Androsiuk P, Kaczmarek Z, Urbaniak L (2011) The morphological traits of needles as markers of geographical differentiation in European Pinus sylvestris populations. Dendrobiology 65:3–16Google Scholar
  2. Batos B, Vilotić D, Orlović S, Miljković D (2010) Inter and intra-population variation of leaf stomatal traits of Quercus robur L. in Northern Serbia. Arch Biol Sci 62:1125–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boratynska K, Lewandowska D (2009) Differences among three populations of Pinus uliginosa and their relation to P. sylvestris has expressed by the needle characters. Dendrobiology 61:37–46Google Scholar
  4. Eo JK, Hyun JO (2013) Comparative anatomy of the needles of Abies koreana and its related species. Turkish J Bot 37:553–560Google Scholar
  5. Esteban LG, Martín JA, de Palacios P, Fernández FG, López R (2010) Adaptive anatomy of Pinus halepensis trees from different Mediterranean environments in Spain. Trees 24:19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ghimire B, Lee C, Heo K (2014) Leaf anatomy and its implications for phylogenetic relationships in Taxaceae sl. J Plant Res 127:373–388PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grant DR (1977) Glacial style and ice limits, the Quaternary stratigraphic record, and changes of land and ocean level in the Atlantic Provinces, Canada. Géog Phys Quat 31:247–260Google Scholar
  8. Gray JE, Holroyd GH, van der Lee FM, Bahrami AR, Sijmons PC, Woodward FI, Schuch W, Hetherington AM (2000) The HIC signalling pathway links CO2 perception to stomatal development. Nature 408:713–716PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hijmans RJ, Cameron SE, Parra JL, Jones PG, Jarvis A (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. Int J Climatol 25:1965–1978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang RF (1993) The population heredity and evolution of P. yunnanensis. J Yunnan Univ 15:50–63Google Scholar
  11. Jasińska AK, Boratyńska K, Sobierajska K, Romo A, Ok T, Kharat MBD, Boratyński A (2013) Relationships among Cedrus libani, C. brevifolia and C. atlantica has revealed by the morphological and anatomical needle characters. Plant Syst Evol 299:35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jasinska AK, Boratynska K, Dering M, Sobierajska KI, Ok T, Romo A, Boratynski A (2014) Distance between south-European and south-west Asiatic refugial areas involved morphological differentiation: Pinus sylvestris case study. Plant Syst Evol 300:1487–1502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jin ZZ, Peng J (2004) P. yunnanensis. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, pp 1–167Google Scholar
  14. Körner C (1989) The nutritional status of plants from high altitudes. Oecologia 81:379–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Körner C (2007) The use of ‘altitude’ in ecological research. Trends Ecol Evol 22:569–574PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lavadinović V, Miletić Z, Lavadinović V, Isajev V (2011) Variability in magnesium concentration in needles of different Douglas-fir provenances. Forestry 17:74–79Google Scholar
  17. Legoshchina O, Neverova O, Bykov A (2013) Variability of the anatomical structure of Picea obovata Ledeb. Needles under the influence of emissions from the industrial zone of Kemerovo. Contemp Probl Ecol 6:555–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. López R, Climent J, Gil L (2010) Intraspecific variation and plasticity in growth and foliar morphology along a climate gradient in the Canary Island pine. Trees 24:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mao JF, Wang XR (2011) Distinct niche divergence characterizes the homoploid hybrid speciation of Pinus densata on the Tibetan Plateau. Am Nat 177:424–439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nikolić B, Bojović S, Marin P (2013) Variability of morpho-anatomical characteristics of the needles of Picea omorika from natural populations in Serbia. Plant Biosyst 10:1080–1126Google Scholar
  21. Nobis MP, Traiser C, Roth-Nebelsick A (2012) Latitudinal variation in morphological traits of the genus Pinus and its relation to environmental and phylogenetic signals. Plant Ecol Divers 5:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rehfeldt G (1991) A model of genetic variation for Pinus ponderosa in the Inland Northwest (USA): applications in gene resource management. Can J For Res 21:1491–1500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schlichting CD (1986) The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 17:667–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sękiewicz K, Sękiewicz M, Jasińska A, Boratyńska K, Iszkuło G, Romo A, Boratyński A (2013) Morphological diversity and structure of West Mediterranean Abies species. Plant Biosyst 147:125–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tao JR, Kong ZC (1973) The fossil florule and sporo-pollen assemblage of the shang-in coal series of Erhyuan, Yunnan. Acta Bot Sin 15:120–126Google Scholar
  26. Tiwari SP, Kumar P, Yadav D, Chauhan DK (2013) Comparative morphological, epidermal, and anatomical studies of Pinus roxburghii needles at different altitudes in the North-West Indian Himalayas. Turkish J Bot 37:65–73Google Scholar
  27. Walter R, Epperson BK (2005) Geographic pattern of genetic diversity in Pinus resinosa: contact zone between descendants of glacial refugia. Am J Bot 92:92–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang WM (1996) A palynological survey of Neogene strata in Xiao Long Tan basin, Yunnan province of south China. Acta Bot Sin 38:743–748Google Scholar
  29. Wang CM, Wang J, Jiang HQ (2003) A Study on the comparative morphology of Pinus yunnanensis needles under different habitats. J Southwest For Coll 23:4–7Google Scholar
  30. Wang CM, Wang J, Jiang HQ (2004) A Study on the Comparative Anatomy of Pinus yunnanensis Needles under Different Habitats. J Southwest For Coll 24:1–5Google Scholar
  31. Wei W, Li GQ, Xu YL, Chen S, Lv XH, Cai NH (2012) Correlation between the temperature variation and the growth in height and basal diameter of seedling Pinus Yunnanensis. J Yunnan Univ (Natural Sciences Edition) 34:356–361Google Scholar
  32. Wheeler B (2010) lmPerm: permutation tests for linear models. R package, version 1.0-1.
  33. Woo KS, Fins L, McDonald GI, Wenny DL, Eramian A (2002) Effects of nursery environment on needle morphology of Pinus monticola Dougl. and implications for tree improvement programs. New For 24:113–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wu YS, Xiao JY (1991) A preliminary study on vegetation and climate changes in DianChi Lake area in the last 40000 years. Acta Bot Sin 33:450–458Google Scholar
  35. Xing FQ, Mao JF, Meng JX, Dai JF, Zhao W, Liu H, Xing Z, Zhang H, Wang X, Li Y (2014) Needle morphological evidence of the homoploid hybrid origin of Pinus densata based on analysis of artificial hybrids and the putative parents, Pinus tabuliformis and Pinus yunnanensis. Ecol Evol 4:1890–1902PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xu B, Tao W (2006) Application of a hand-held slicing method for wood species identification. China Wood Ind 20:41–43Google Scholar
  37. Zhang SB, Guan ZJ, Sun M, Zhang JJ, Cao KF, Hu H (2012) Evolutionary association of stomatal traits with leaf vein density in Paphiopedilum, Orchidaceae. Plos One 7:e40080PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhao CM, Chen LT, Ma F, Yao BQ, Liu JQ (2008) Altitudinal differences in the leaf fitness of juvenile and mature alpine spruce trees (Picea crassifolia). Tree Physiol 28:133–141PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yujie Huang
    • 1
  • Jianfeng Mao
    • 1
  • Zhiqiang Chen
    • 1
  • Jingxiang Meng
    • 1
  • Yulan Xu
    • 2
  • Anan Duan
    • 2
  • Yue Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Engineering Laboratory for Forest Tree Breeding, Key Laboratory for Genetics and Breeding of Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants of Ministry of Education, College of Biological Sciences and TechnologyBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Forest Resources Conservation and the Southwest Mountains of China, Ministry of EducationSouthwest Forestry UniversityKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations