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Article

Does Drought Stress on Seedlings Have Longer Term Effects on Sapling Phenology, Reshooting, Growth and Plant Architecture in Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Their Morphological Intermediates?

1
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Research Institute for Nature and Forest, 9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium
2
Department of Biometrics and Agricultural Informatics, Szent István University, 1118 Budapest, Hungary
3
Department of Forest Reproductive Material and Plantation Management, Institute of Silviculture and Forest Protection, West-Hungarian University, 9400 Sopron, Hungary
4
Department of Agro- and Biotechnology, School of Technology, Odisee University College, 9100 Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Polenlaan 32, 9190 Stekene, Belgium.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111012
Received: 6 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollutants on Forest Tree Species)
Background and Objectives: Summer droughts are expected to increase in central and western Europe both in terms of frequency and intensity, justifying studies on longer term legacies of drought stress on tree species and their hybrids. Materials and Methods: We studied the longer-term after effects of water withholding and re-watering in the first growing season of potted seedlings from the sympatric species Quercus robur L., Q. petraea (Matt.) Liebl. and their morphological intermediates. Phenology, growth, and plant architecture were examined after a cut-back of the stems at the end of the third growing season. Results: The legacy of the first-year water limitation is faded in the phenological response. Nonetheless, leaf senescence occurred later in offspring from Q. robur than in offspring from Q. petraea at the end of the fourth growing season and leafing out tended to be later in the subsequent growing season. Offspring from the intermediate forms displayed variable phenological responses. Height and radial growth were still affected by the drought stress in a taxon-dependent way, with the offspring from Q. petraea displaying growth reduction both in height and diameter, whereas offspring from Q. robur did not show any differences anymore between control and treated plants, demonstrating better post-stress recovery in Q. robur. Offspring from morphological intermediates responded again in a variable way. Although the number of reshoots after cutting back the stems was not affected anymore by the drought treatment in the first growing season, the number of side shoots on the reshoots was still reduced in the drought treated group of plants, independent of the taxon of the mother tree. Conclusions: Together, our results demonstrate the longer-lasting effects of drought stress on oak saplings with regard to growth and plant architecture, with the first being taxon dependent. View Full-Text
Keywords: sessile oak; pedunculate oak; hybridization; drought legacy; resprouting; sapling; bud burst; leaf senescence; water limitation sessile oak; pedunculate oak; hybridization; drought legacy; resprouting; sapling; bud burst; leaf senescence; water limitation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vander Mijnsbrugge, K.; Turcsan, A.; Moreels, S.; Van Goethem, M.; Meeus, S.; Van der Aa, B. Does Drought Stress on Seedlings Have Longer Term Effects on Sapling Phenology, Reshooting, Growth and Plant Architecture in Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Their Morphological Intermediates? Forests 2019, 10, 1012. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111012

AMA Style

Vander Mijnsbrugge K, Turcsan A, Moreels S, Van Goethem M, Meeus S, Van der Aa B. Does Drought Stress on Seedlings Have Longer Term Effects on Sapling Phenology, Reshooting, Growth and Plant Architecture in Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Their Morphological Intermediates? Forests. 2019; 10(11):1012. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vander Mijnsbrugge, Kristine, Arion Turcsan, Stefaan Moreels, Michiel Van Goethem, Steven Meeus, and Beatrijs Van der Aa. 2019. "Does Drought Stress on Seedlings Have Longer Term Effects on Sapling Phenology, Reshooting, Growth and Plant Architecture in Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Their Morphological Intermediates?" Forests 10, no. 11: 1012. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111012

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