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Natural variation in sensitivity of reproductive processes in some boreal forest trees to acidity

  • R. M. Cox

Abstract

The variation in pollen sensitivity to acidity found both within and between populations of forest trees will be presented. Pollen responses of yellow birch in a range wide provenance trial were shown to be conservative over a wide geographic area of North America. This lack of variation may indicate that pH may be important in the pollen stigma interaction in this species whose pollen would be at risk at pH’s < 3.7. White birch (Betula papyrifera) was shown to be as sensitive to acidity as yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) with more variation, but however these white birch populations were of contrasting soil pH and acid deposition regimes. Significant differences in pH sensitivity of pollen were found between the New Brunswick and Ontario populations of white pine. Inter-population variation in white pine pollen response to acidity will be related to pollen droplet pH and to the populations’ contrasting soil pH. The relationship between these population parameters will be discussed in terms of a possible mechanism of assortative mating between adjacent populations for the maintenance of adaptation to local soil conditions. In addition the possibility of gamete selection by acid deposition at the time of pollination will also be discussed.

Keywords

Pollen Tube Growth Assortative Mating Pollen Germination Pollen Response White Birch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Forestry Service — MaritimesFrederictonCanada

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