Genetic increases in growth do not lead to trade-offs with ecologically important litter and fine root traits in Norway spruce

John K. Senior, Glenn R. Iason, Michael Gundale, Thomas G Whitham, E. Petter Axelsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The genetic composition of many forests across the world is being altered through the introduction of genetic material selected and bred for superior production qualities. Growth strategy and allocation theories predict that introducing genetic material with faster growth rates into managed forest populations could result in tradeoffs that influence the expression of other traits of ecological importance to the tree and its associated communities and ecosystem processes. We assessed variation in tree traits among ten full-sibling and four open-pollinated progenies of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) growing within a 38 year old common garden in Sävar, Sweden; namely fine root and litter carbon, nitrogen, lignin, starch and condensed tannin concentrations as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) and root tissue density (RTD). We first tested whether these traits varied among spruce progenies, and secondly, if they exhibited significant relationships with tree growth expressed as diameter at breast height (DBH). Significant variation was detected in the DBH of progenies, with a three-fold difference between the slowest and fastest growing progenies. Although progenies exhibited significant variation in SLA, RTD, as well as needle litter and fine root condensed tannin concentrations, only SLA exhibited a significant relationship with DBH. These findings suggest that while a shift to faster-growing genetic material in managed forests may not necessarily result in tradeoffs with the expression of other ecologically important traits, the origin of planted genetic material and increased growth itself is likely to impact the quality and quantity of organic matter entering soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume446
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019

Fingerprint

fine root
litters (young animals)
Picea abies
litter
tree and stand measurements
leaf area
tannin
proanthocyanidins
karsts
starch
tree growth
lignin
gardens
garden
soil organic matter
karst
Sweden
Picea
fine roots
fold

Keywords

  • Chemical and morphological traits
  • Fine root
  • Intraspecific variation
  • Litter
  • Picea abies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Genetic increases in growth do not lead to trade-offs with ecologically important litter and fine root traits in Norway spruce. / Senior, John K.; Iason, Glenn R.; Gundale, Michael; Whitham, Thomas G; Axelsson, E. Petter.

In: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 446, 15.08.2019, p. 54-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a8c461830ca4473bb91b1735e1fc9dfc,
title = "Genetic increases in growth do not lead to trade-offs with ecologically important litter and fine root traits in Norway spruce",
abstract = "The genetic composition of many forests across the world is being altered through the introduction of genetic material selected and bred for superior production qualities. Growth strategy and allocation theories predict that introducing genetic material with faster growth rates into managed forest populations could result in tradeoffs that influence the expression of other traits of ecological importance to the tree and its associated communities and ecosystem processes. We assessed variation in tree traits among ten full-sibling and four open-pollinated progenies of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) growing within a 38 year old common garden in S{\"a}var, Sweden; namely fine root and litter carbon, nitrogen, lignin, starch and condensed tannin concentrations as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) and root tissue density (RTD). We first tested whether these traits varied among spruce progenies, and secondly, if they exhibited significant relationships with tree growth expressed as diameter at breast height (DBH). Significant variation was detected in the DBH of progenies, with a three-fold difference between the slowest and fastest growing progenies. Although progenies exhibited significant variation in SLA, RTD, as well as needle litter and fine root condensed tannin concentrations, only SLA exhibited a significant relationship with DBH. These findings suggest that while a shift to faster-growing genetic material in managed forests may not necessarily result in tradeoffs with the expression of other ecologically important traits, the origin of planted genetic material and increased growth itself is likely to impact the quality and quantity of organic matter entering soils.",
keywords = "Chemical and morphological traits, Fine root, Intraspecific variation, Litter, Picea abies",
author = "Senior, {John K.} and Iason, {Glenn R.} and Michael Gundale and Whitham, {Thomas G} and Axelsson, {E. Petter}",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.foreco.2019.05.021",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "446",
pages = "54--62",
journal = "Forest Ecology and Management",
issn = "0378-1127",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetic increases in growth do not lead to trade-offs with ecologically important litter and fine root traits in Norway spruce

AU - Senior, John K.

AU - Iason, Glenn R.

AU - Gundale, Michael

AU - Whitham, Thomas G

AU - Axelsson, E. Petter

PY - 2019/8/15

Y1 - 2019/8/15

N2 - The genetic composition of many forests across the world is being altered through the introduction of genetic material selected and bred for superior production qualities. Growth strategy and allocation theories predict that introducing genetic material with faster growth rates into managed forest populations could result in tradeoffs that influence the expression of other traits of ecological importance to the tree and its associated communities and ecosystem processes. We assessed variation in tree traits among ten full-sibling and four open-pollinated progenies of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) growing within a 38 year old common garden in Sävar, Sweden; namely fine root and litter carbon, nitrogen, lignin, starch and condensed tannin concentrations as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) and root tissue density (RTD). We first tested whether these traits varied among spruce progenies, and secondly, if they exhibited significant relationships with tree growth expressed as diameter at breast height (DBH). Significant variation was detected in the DBH of progenies, with a three-fold difference between the slowest and fastest growing progenies. Although progenies exhibited significant variation in SLA, RTD, as well as needle litter and fine root condensed tannin concentrations, only SLA exhibited a significant relationship with DBH. These findings suggest that while a shift to faster-growing genetic material in managed forests may not necessarily result in tradeoffs with the expression of other ecologically important traits, the origin of planted genetic material and increased growth itself is likely to impact the quality and quantity of organic matter entering soils.

AB - The genetic composition of many forests across the world is being altered through the introduction of genetic material selected and bred for superior production qualities. Growth strategy and allocation theories predict that introducing genetic material with faster growth rates into managed forest populations could result in tradeoffs that influence the expression of other traits of ecological importance to the tree and its associated communities and ecosystem processes. We assessed variation in tree traits among ten full-sibling and four open-pollinated progenies of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) growing within a 38 year old common garden in Sävar, Sweden; namely fine root and litter carbon, nitrogen, lignin, starch and condensed tannin concentrations as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) and root tissue density (RTD). We first tested whether these traits varied among spruce progenies, and secondly, if they exhibited significant relationships with tree growth expressed as diameter at breast height (DBH). Significant variation was detected in the DBH of progenies, with a three-fold difference between the slowest and fastest growing progenies. Although progenies exhibited significant variation in SLA, RTD, as well as needle litter and fine root condensed tannin concentrations, only SLA exhibited a significant relationship with DBH. These findings suggest that while a shift to faster-growing genetic material in managed forests may not necessarily result in tradeoffs with the expression of other ecologically important traits, the origin of planted genetic material and increased growth itself is likely to impact the quality and quantity of organic matter entering soils.

KW - Chemical and morphological traits

KW - Fine root

KW - Intraspecific variation

KW - Litter

KW - Picea abies

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065724667&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065724667&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.05.021

DO - 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.05.021

M3 - Article

VL - 446

SP - 54

EP - 62

JO - Forest Ecology and Management

JF - Forest Ecology and Management

SN - 0378-1127

ER -