Home Publications Tree Improvement and Genetics Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference 29th Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference (2007) Integration of Crown Morphology and Leaf-Level Physiology as a Tool for Explaining Differences in Aboveground Productivity among Elite Families of Loblolly and Slash Pine

Integration of Crown Morphology and Leaf-Level Physiology as a Tool for Explaining Differences in Aboveground Productivity among Elite Families of Loblolly and Slash Pine

Forest production depends on CO2 assimilation, but is rarely solely a function of leaf-level photosynthesis. Crown characteristics may affect tree growth by altering light interception and photosynthesis at canopy level. Strong light gradients are present in forest canopies, which often result in parallel changes in leaf morphology and leaf nitrogen for efficient use of light in photosynthetic CO2 uptake. The genetic basis of crown and canopy trait differences among southern pine taxa are not well understood, but are critical for predicting growth and productivity differences for managing sustainable forest ecosystems. In our study we investigated effects of intensive silvicultural treatments on crown morphology and within-crown leaf-level physiology, and the relationship to aboveground productivity of selected families of loblolly and slash pine. In young stands, before canopy closure, we found significant among-family differences in crown structure and between-species differences in leaf area density per unit of crown volume.


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Author(s): Daniel J. Chmura, Mark G. Tjoelker

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2007

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