|Abstract or Summary
- This study was designed to help elucidate what differences, if any, exist within the species Alnus rubra Bong., grown naturally at various elevations and locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and coastal Alaska. Increasing importance of the species, including both economic and silviculture values, prompted the investigation into the early growth of red alder, an area in which detailed information is lacking. Two areas of investigation that were established included, first, an elevational transect from Newport to Marys Peak in the Coast Range of Oregon and, second, a study of ten geographic sources located throughout the range of Alnus rubra. Both phases of this investigation were conducted under three growth regimes involving the use of a 16 hour photoperiod and three thermoperiods (day-night temperatures are: 21°, 16°C; 10°, 10°C and 21°, 21°C). The Transect Study showed differences between red alder conelets (weight and size) and seeds (weights and germination) from different elevations to be significant at the 1% level. The effect of the lower thermoperiod (10°, 10°C) in reducing the rate of germnination was also shown. No significant differences were found between seedlings representing the various elevations in other characteristics (height, diameter and leaf dimension). The Geographic Study, involving wildlings supplied by the U.S. Forest Service, was concerned primarily with seedling height growth and leaf size. Significant differences were found between seedlings from different geographic locations but, because of the limited number of seedlings available, the reliability of the data to accurately express variation between these locations is questionable. The effect of thermoperiod within a single tested environment was also significant but with results that were opposite to those obtained in the Transect Study. In the Geographic Study the height growth of seedlings under the cold condition (10°, 10°C) was significantly greater than for seedlings grown under the other growth conditions. In the Transect Study, the seedlings grown under the cold condition were significantly shorter than those grown under the other regimes.