Productivity, leaf traits and carbon isotope discrimination in 29 Populus deltoides × P. nigra clones

Authors

  • Romain Monclus,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
    2. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
    3. UR INRA ‘Amélioration, Génétique et Physiologie Forestières’, BP 20619, Ardon, 45166 Olivet Cedex, France;
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  • Erwin Dreyer,

    1. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
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  • Francis M. Delmotte,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Marc Villar,

    1. UR INRA ‘Amélioration, Génétique et Physiologie Forestières’, BP 20619, Ardon, 45166 Olivet Cedex, France;
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  • Didier Delay,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Eric Boudouresque,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Jean-Michel Petit,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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  • Nicolas Marron,

    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
    2. University of Antwerp, Department of Biology, Campus Drie Eiken, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
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  • Claude Bréchet,

    1. UMR INRA-UHP ‘Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestières’, INRA Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France;
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  • Franck Brignolas

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, UPRES EA 1207, UFR-Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Orléans, rue de Chartres, BP 6759, 45067 Orléans Cedex 02, France;
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Author for correspondence: Franck Brignolas Tel: +33 (0)2 38 49 48 02 Fax: +33 (0)2 38 49 49 11 Email: franck.brignolas@univ-orleans.fr

Summary

  • • Here we tested whether some leaf traits could be used as predictors for productivity in a range of Populus deltoides × P. nigra clones. These traits were assessed in 3-yr-old rooted cuttings from 29 clones growing in an open field trial, in a five randomized complete block design, under optimal irrigation.
  • Variables were assigned to four groups describing productivity (above-ground biomass, total leaf area), leaf growth (total number of leaves increment rate), leaf structure (area of the largest leaf, specific leaf area, carbon and nitrogen contents), and carbon isotope discrimination in the leaves (Δ).
  • • High-yielding clones displayed larger total leaf area and individual leaf area, while no correlation could be detected between productivity and either leaf structure or Δ. By contrast, Δ was negatively correlated with number of leaves increment rate and leaf N content.
  • Our study shows that there is a potential to improve water-use efficiency in poplar without necessarily reducing the overall productivity.

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