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Open AccessArticle

Timeline of Leaf and Cambial Phenology in Relation to Development of Initial Conduits in Xylem and Phloem in Three Coexisting Sub-Mediterranean Deciduous Tree Species

1
Department of Forest Yield and Silviculture, Slovenian Forestry Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Department of Forest Techniques and Economy, Slovenian Forestry Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(10), 1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11101104
Received: 16 September 2020 / Revised: 7 October 2020 / Accepted: 15 October 2020 / Published: 17 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Tree Growth and Physiology)
It is unclear how the anticipated climate change will affect the timing of phenology of different tree organs/tissues and thus the whole-tree functioning. We examined the timing of leaf phenology and secondary growth in three coexisting deciduous tree species (Quercus pubescens Willd., Fraxinus ornus L. and Ostrya carpinifolia Scop) from a sub-Mediterranean region in 2019. In addition, we investigated the relationship between leaf and cambial phenology and the onset of the potential functioning of initial conduits, as determined by the completed differentiation process (vessels) or final size (sieve tubes). For this purpose, leaf development was monitored and the microcores of cambium and the youngest phloem and xylem increments were repeatedly collected at 7–10-day intervals during the growing season. The results revealed differences in the timing of leaf development and seasonal radial growth patterns in spring among the studied tree species, depending on wood porosity. We found that cambial cell production started in all cases in the first half of March. However, in ring-porous Q. pubescens and F. ornus, radial growth in the stem occurred more than a month before buds were swollen, whereas in diffuse-porous O. carpinifolia, these two events were detected at almost the same time. The end of cambial cell production occurred earliest in F. ornus (mid-July) and two weeks later also in the other two species. The widest initial earlywood vessels and early phloem sieve tubes were found in Q. pubescens, the narrowest initial earlywood vessels in O. carpinifolia and the narrowest early phloem sieve tubes in F. ornus. This indicates differences in the efficiency of conducting systems among the studied species. This novel approach of studying phloem phenology and anatomy in relation to leaf and xylem development contributes to a better understanding of how different tree species adapt their structure of secondary vascular tissues in response to environmental change. View Full-Text
Keywords: Quercus pubescens; Fraxinus ornus; Ostrya carpinifolia; earlywood; early phloem; vessel; sieve tube; radial growth Quercus pubescens; Fraxinus ornus; Ostrya carpinifolia; earlywood; early phloem; vessel; sieve tube; radial growth
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Gričar, J.; Vedenik, A.; Skoberne, G.; Hafner, P.; Prislan, P. Timeline of Leaf and Cambial Phenology in Relation to Development of Initial Conduits in Xylem and Phloem in Three Coexisting Sub-Mediterranean Deciduous Tree Species. Forests 2020, 11, 1104.

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