Provenance variation in Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) seedlings Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ft848s54x

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  • A range-wide sample of 221 provenances of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) showed much variation in several characteristics. Variation in seed weight was significant, but not correlated with seed source latitude, elevation, or distance from the ocean. Variation in the frequency of 4-cotyledon seedlings was significant at regional, provenance, and family levels, with the greatest frequency occurring in a high-elevation Rocky Mountain population. In an outdoor common-garden experiment at Corvallis, significant variation at both provenance and family levels occurred in bud-set and bud-burst dates and cold hardiness. In a growth chamber experiment, seedlings maintained in continuous growth for a three-month test period showed significant variation influenced both by environment (air and soil temperature) and seed source. Variation among provenances and between families within provenance was highly significant, with the latter averaging up to one-half the former for most responses. Seedlings of northern, high-elevation, or Rocky Mountain provenances set and burst bud earlier and survived early frost and winter cold better than seedlings of southern, low-elevation, or coastal provenances. The latter groups grew faster than the former on the average, but there were some conspicuous exceptions; growth responses were not as highly correlated with seed source latitude, elevation, or distance from the ocean as were phenological responses and cold hardiness. Coastal provenances showed strong north-south dines in phenological responses, cold hardiness, and growth responses. Rocky Mountain hemlock populations appeared to differ from coastal populations in growth rate, shoot:root ratio, and frequency of 4-cotyledon seedlings.
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