Xylem phenology and wood production: resolving the chicken-or-egg dilemma
Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Plant, Cell & Environment
Volume 33, Issue 10, pages 1721–1730, October 2010
How to Cite
LUPI, C., MORIN, H., DESLAURIERS, A. and ROSSI, S. (2010), Xylem phenology and wood production: resolving the chicken-or-egg dilemma. Plant, Cell & Environment, 33: 1721–1730. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02176.x
- Issue published online: 7 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
- Received 12 February 2010; received in revised form 29 April 2010; accepted for publication 3 May 2010
- cambial activity;
- causal modelling;
- cell production;
- cold environments;
- duration of cell differentiation;
- growth cessation;
- Picea mariana;
- wood formation;
Delays in the start of the growing season reduce the period available for growth and the amount of xylem production. However, a higher number of developing tracheids could prolong cell differentiation and, consequently, lengthen the growing season. The relationship between the amount and duration of cell production in the xylem remains an unresolved issue. The aim of this study was to resolve the chicken-or-egg causality dilemma about duration of growth and cell production through simple- and double-cause models. This was achieved by (1) analysing the intra-annual growth dynamics of the xylem in Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP during 2006–2009 in two contrasting sites of the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada, and (2) extracting the dates of onset and ending of xylem formation and the number of radial cells along the tree ring.
A higher number of cells was linked to an earlier onset (r = 0.74) and later ending (r = 0.61) of cell differentiation. The absence of a relationship between the residuals of the onset and ending of xylogenesis (rp = −0.06) indicated that cell production influenced the correlation between the two phenophases of the xylem.
These results demonstrated that a higher number of cells produced delay the ending of xylem maturation, so extending the duration of wood formation.