Comparative water relations of Abies grandis, Abies concolor and their hybrids Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/wh246x36p

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  • Comparisons were made of the tissue water relations, stomatal conductance and growth of grand fir (Abies grandis), white fir (Abies concolor) and their hybrids growing in a western Oregon plantation. The grand fir were naturally-regenerated trees native to the study site. White fir and hybrids were the progeny of controlled crosses between white fir from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and grand fir from the northern California coast. Osmotic potential s of all trees, at both full and zero turgor, were lowest in March (averaging -2.05 MPa and -2.73 MPa, respectively), highest in June (averaging -1.18 MPa and -1.54 MPa), and intermediate in August (averaging -1.73 MPa and -2.34 MPa in August, 1981, and -1.65 MPa and -2.22 MPa in August, 1982). August, 1981, was hotter and drier than August, 1982; the lower osmotic potentials in 1981 may be a response to more severe stress. Osmotic potentials decreased more than water potentials between June and August; thus, turgor pressure increased through the summer. Bulk turgor of twigs averaged 0.71 MPa before dawn in June, 1982, and 0.87 MPa before dawn in August, 1982. In the mid-morning, twig turgor averaged 0.30 MPa in June and 0.40 MPa in August, 1982. The trees that grew most rapidly on the study site, hybrids between Colorado white fir and California grand fir, had lower stomatal conductance throughout the year than slower growing white fir. The fastest growing hybrids also had the least negative osmotic potential at full and zero turgor and the lowest twig turgor in August. Thus, rapid growth rate did not correlate with either high conductance or high turgor. More rapid growth may be partly explained by higher leaf area. Needle longevity of the fastest growing hybrids averaged 5.3 years, compared with 2.8 years for the slowest growing white fir. It is speculated that rapidly growing trees may also allocate a greater percentage of photosynthate to production of new needles.
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