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    Provenance-specific variation in bark thickness in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) is important for accurate volume calculations and might carry ecological implications as well. To investigate variation, diameter at breast height (dbh) and double bark thickness (dbt) were measured in 10 experiments in southwestern Germany (16 American and 6 German seed sources), which were approximately 50 years old and ranged in productivity. Provenance-specific mixed models for dbt versus dbh varied considerably with respect to intercept and slope. Likewise, analysis of covariance on bark ratio (range = 8.0% to 13.2%) with dbh as the linear predictor revealed significant differences (p < 0.05 to p < 0.0001) in 70% of the comparisons. Influence of seed origin on bark ratio was analyzed for our 16 American sources plus 6 provenances reported from New Zealand tests. In linear regressions, single geographic position variables explained only a small proportion of the variation in bark ratio (range of r2 = 0.01 - 0.33), and the same was true for individual climate variables. In contrast, physiographic regions significantly (p = 0.0013) explained considerable variation (r2 = 0.66). Likewise, a combination of three climate variables (temperature, frost days, precipitation) proved significant (p < 0.0001; r2 = 0.87). As bark ratio was inversely related to precipitation at the seed origin, it is inferred that historic fire regimes may have played a selective role in the process by which Douglas-fir allocates dry matter between bark and wood.

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    Kohnle, Ulrich; Hein, Sebastian; Sorensen, Frank C.; Weiskittel, Aaron R. 2012. Effects of seed source origin on bark thickness of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) growing in southwestern Germany. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 42: 382-399.


    plastome, polyploidy, self-compatibility, interspecific hybridization

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