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Forests 2015, 6(11), 3809-3827; doi:10.3390/f6113809

Intra-Annual Xylem Growth of Larix principis-rupprechtii at Its Upper and Lower Distribution Limits on the Luyashan Mountain in North-Central China

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
2
College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Forestry, He’nan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471003, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael C. Stambaugh and Eric Jokela
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 29 October 2015
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Abstract

Altitude-related climatic factors, especially temperature, are important factors that affect tree growth in mountain forest ecosystems. The aims of this study were to estimate the intra-annual radial growth differences of Larix principis-rupprechtii (L. principis-rupprechtii) between its upper and lower distribution limits, at 2740 and 2040 m a.s.l, respectively. Dynamics of xylem growth were observed by collecting microcore samples weekly during the 2011 growth season. The result indicated that different strategies were adopted at the two selected sites. Trees at the upper distribution limit adopted an “intensive strategy” with higher maximum growth rates (0.69 cell·day1) within a shorter duration of 95 days, producing 21 new tracheids. By contrast, trees at the lower distribution limit exhibited an “extensive strategy” with lower maximum growth rates (0.53 cell·day1) over a longer duration of 135 days, producing 50 tracheids. The soil temperature was probably the main factor limiting the onset of cambial activity for L. principis-rupprechtii, its daily mean thresholds for onset were 0 °C and 1.4 °C at the upper and lower distribution limits, respectively. These results indicate that L. principis-rupprechtii is able to adjust its xylem growth according to environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: treeline; cell differentiation; xylogenesis; elevational gradient; threshold temperature treeline; cell differentiation; xylogenesis; elevational gradient; threshold temperature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Guo, Y.; Kang, M.; Wang, M.; Wang, B. Intra-Annual Xylem Growth of Larix principis-rupprechtii at Its Upper and Lower Distribution Limits on the Luyashan Mountain in North-Central China. Forests 2015, 6, 3809-3827.

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