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The timing of flowering in Douglas-fir is determined by cool-season temperatures and genetic variationAuthor(s): Janet S. Prevey; Constance A. Harrington; J. Bradley St. Clair
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 409: 729-739.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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Timing of flowering in Douglas-fir is determined by cool-season temperatures and genetic variation
DescriptionTrees have evolved to time flowering to maximize outcrossing, minimize exposure to damaging frosts, and synchronize development with soil moisture and nutrient availability. Understanding the environmental cues that influence the timing of reproductive budburst will be important for predicting how flowering phenology of trees will change with a changing climate, and aid in the time-sensitive management of seed orchards. We examined how temperature influenced the timing of female flowering of coastal Douglas-fir with over 4500 flowering observations of trees from 12 sites across western Oregon and Washington. We predicted flowering dates by modifying chilling and forcing effectiveness functions from a model of vegetative budburst of Douglas-fir. We also examined whether genetic variation in Douglas-fir influenced the relationships between chilling and forcing accumulations using flowering observations from two common-garden experiments with trees from 60 populations from a diverse range of climates. Our reproductive budburst model predicted the day of flowering within an average of five days of the observed flowering dates across all sites and years. Fewer hours of forcing temperatures were required for flowering on sites that had experienced high chilling. Warmer temperatures in the future will likely result in earlier flowering on sites which currently have high chilling; however, sites which currently experience low chilling may display no change or possibly even a delay in flowering. Douglas-fir genotypes from different geographic regions flowered in the same order from year to year in common gardens, indicating that both temperature and genetic variation influence flowering. Genetic variation in flowering dates was more strongly related to summer drought of seed source locations than to cold winters. Knowledge of the environmental cues and genetic variation in timing of flowering can help predict how future changes in temperature under various climate models could change flowering time across the range of coastal Douglas-fir.
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CitationPrevéy, Janet S.; Harrington, Constance A.; St. Clair, J. Bradley. 2018. The timing of flowering in Douglas-fir is determined by cool-season temperatures and genetic variation. Forest Ecology and Management. 409: 729-739. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.11.062.
KeywordsClimate change, Pseudotsuga menziesii, reproductive budburst, seed orchards, tree phenology.
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