Xylem production in six tree species growing on an island in the boreal forest region of western Quebec, Canada

Ko Heinrichs, Derrick; Tardif, Jacques C.; Bergeron, Yves
May 2007
Canadian Journal of Botany;May2007, Vol. 85 Issue 5, p518
Academic Journal
Xylem production was studied by repeatedly taking microcore samples from the stems of six tree species growing on the “réserve écologique des Vieux-Arbres”, on Lake Duparquet, Québec, throughout the 1999 growing season. Species examined were paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.), and eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.). Onset of xylem cell production was observed in all species by 22 May 1999, and ended as early as mid-July and early August for white spruce and eastern white cedar, respectively. Xylem cell production in the remaining species ended between late August and mid-September. In general, the onset of latewood production ranged from the start of July to the first week of August. Typical sigmoidal curves were characteristic of ring width, number of cells, and number of earlywood cells over the growing season. Completion of the annual growth increment was quickest for white spruce and eastern white cedar, while it continued longest in both pine species. Numerous similarities in xylem production and tree ring formation over the course of the growing season were observed among the six species, suggesting that weather, along with photoperiod, plays a critical role in xylem production.


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