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    Author(s): David R. WoodruffFrederick C. Meinzer
    Date: 2011
    Source: Plant, Cell and Environment. 34(11): 1920-1930
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (882.46 KB)


    We analyzed concentrations of starch, sucrose, glucose and fructose in upper branch wood, foliage and trunk sapwood of Douglas-fir trees in height classes ranging from ~2 to ~57 m. Mean concentrations of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) for all tissues were highest in the tallest height class and lowest in the lowest height class, and height-related trends in NSC were most pronounced in branches. Throughout a 17-month sampling period, mean values of branch NSC from the 57 m trees ranged between 30 and 377% greater than the 2 m trees. Branch NSC was inversely correlated with midday shoot water potential, shoot osmotic potential at full turgor and shoot extension. The positive correlation between height and storage of NSC, and the negative correlation between NSC storage and shoot extension provide evidence that size-related growth decline in trees is not strongly associated with constraints on photosynthesis. The negative correlation between height and fluctuation in NSC suggests that mobilization of photosynthate in taller trees is constrained by some factor such as reductions in turgor-driven cell expansion or constraints on phloem transport.

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    Woodruff, David R.; Meinzer, Frederick C. 2011. Water stress, shoot growth and storage of non-structural carbohydrates along a tree height gradient in a tall conifer. Plant, Cell and Environment. 34(11): 1920-1930.


    Pseudotsuga menziesii, carbon storage, drought, growth limitation, phloem transport, photosynthesis, water potential

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