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Forests 2017, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/f8010026

Patterns of Branch Growth and Death in Crowns of Sakhalin Spruce, Picea glehnii (F. Schmidt) Mast

Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, N19W8, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
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Academic Editors: Mark S. Ashton and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 15 January 2017
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Abstract

The development of crown architecture strongly affects tree growth and survival. Growth and death of primary branches (those branching off from the main stem) and secondary branches (those from a primary branch) in the lowest part of the crown were investigated for Picea glehnii in an even-aged plantation. Probability of death of a primary branch decreased as the length between its basal location and the crown base (LCB) increased (p = 0.04), but this probability was not significantly related to the relative photosynthetic photon flux density (rPPFD) above the primary branch (p = 0.18). The probability of producing one or more current-year shoots on a primary branch increased with increasing rPPFD above the primary branch (p = 0.01); however, this probability was unrelated to LCB (p = 0.29). Secondary branches at the distal part of a primary branch produced more current-year shoots and exhibited a lower probability of death than proximal branches (p < 0.01), probably because rPPFD above the distal secondary branches was greater than the proximal branches (p < 0.01). Our results suggest that, while local light conditions are relevant to shoot production and shoot death on a primary branch, the death of an entire primary branch may be related to some morphological attributes concerning the length to the crown base. View Full-Text
Keywords: branch autonomy; correlative inhibition; growth and death; light intensity; Sakhalin spruce branch autonomy; correlative inhibition; growth and death; light intensity; Sakhalin spruce
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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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Chen, L.; Sumida, A. Patterns of Branch Growth and Death in Crowns of Sakhalin Spruce, Picea glehnii (F. Schmidt) Mast. Forests 2017, 8, 26.

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