Impacts of Swiss needle cast on Douglas-fir tree-ring stable isotopes and tree carbohydrate reserves Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v118rh67d

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  • Understanding the mechanisms of disease in forest pathology is a critical component to learning how to most efficiently manage tree diseases like Swiss needle cast (SNC). SNC is an economically important, fungal disease of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) that is prevalent in coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. This thesis research provides two contributions to the greater understanding of the pathogenic impacts on plant physiological functioning, or pathophysiology, of SNC on Douglas-fir that will ultimately inform management decisions in Pacific Northwest forests affected by SNC. The primary objectives of this thesis research were: (1) to examine the effects of SNC on Douglas-fir tree-ring stable isotope discrimination of carbon (Δ¹³C) and oxygen (δ¹⁸O) and (2) to evaluate the impact of SNC on tree carbohydrate reserves. Thesis Objective 1- I used growth measurements and stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen in tree-rings of Douglas-fir and a non-susceptible reference species (western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) to evaluate their use as proxies for variation in past SNC infection, particularly in relation to potential explanatory climate factors. Trees were sampled from a site where a fungicide trial took place from 1996 to 2000, which enabled the comparison of years when disease was present and absent, relative to untreated trees which had the infection throughout. Tree-ring Δ¹³C of treated Douglas-fir increased during the treatment period, and was ~1.6 per mil greater than that of untreated Douglas-fir at the end of the years of the fungicide treatment. Both annual growth and tree-ring Δ¹³C increased with treatment such that treated Douglas-fir had values similar to co-occurring western hemlock during the treatment period, which suggests that the use of Δ¹³C in Douglas-fir tree-rings to track SNC disease history may be a practical approach provided a reference species is available to develop a parallel Δ¹³C chronology. There was no difference in tree-ring δ¹⁸O between treated and untreated Douglas-fir. Tree-ring Δ¹³C of diseased Douglas-fir was negatively correlated with relative humidity (RH) during the two previous summers, consistent with increased leaf colonization by SNC under high humidity conditions that then lead to greater disease severity in following years. Thesis Objective 2- The effects of SNC on Douglas-fir carbohydrate reserves were explored to evaluate the extent to which non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) can be mobilized under natural conditions of low water stress and restricted carbon supply in relation to potential demands for growth. Concentrations of starch, sucrose, glucose and fructose were analyzed in twig wood, foliage, and trunk sapwood of 15 Douglas-fir trees expressing a gradient of SNC symptom severity. There were significant negative relationships between disease severity and growth (mean basal area increment, BAI), as well as between disease severity and mean concentration of trunk NSC. The amount of NSC per unit growth (mean NSC/BAI), an index of the relative priority of storage versus growth, increased with disease severity in all three sampled tissues. These results suggest that under reduced carbon supply with SNC, Douglas-fir trees retain NSC at the expense of growth. The crown retains the most NSC, presumably to maintain foliage growth in the spring to compensate for SNC-induced rapid foliage loss in the summer and fall.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-06-28T17:23:12Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) SaffellBrandyJ2013.pdf: 4031750 bytes, checksum: dc242a04077e6adc15819fa3821c0b59 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-07-08T21:24:01Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) SaffellBrandyJ2013.pdf: 4031750 bytes, checksum: dc242a04077e6adc15819fa3821c0b59 (MD5)

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