Spatial variability of mobile carbohydrates within Pinus cembra trees at the alpine treeline

Li, Maihe and Hoch, Günter and Körner, Christian. (2001) Spatial variability of mobile carbohydrates within Pinus cembra trees at the alpine treeline. Phyton, 41, Fasc. 2. pp. 203-213.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249777

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The size of mobile carbohydrate pools in treeline trees may hold the answer to the carbon limitation hypothesis of tree growth at high elevation. However, a major limitation for the use of such a chemical marker is its potentially large spatial and temporal variability at very small scales. Here we explore this variability in Pinus cembra L. at the alpine treeline in the Swiss Central Alps. To our surprise, neither slope exposure (south vs. north) nor position within the tree crown (compass directions and upper, middle and lower part of crown) had a significant influence on the concentration of total non- structural carbohydrates (TNC) in tissues. However, different- aged tissues (noodles and branch segments) showed a significant difference in TNC concentration, maybe due to their different tissue dry matter density and activity. There is no indication that these patterns change across the season, despite significant seasonal variation in tissue specific TNC. Hence, any broad assessment of the carbon supply status of trees at the alpine treeline needs to carefully select tissue samples for equal age, but does not require a lot of spatial replication within individual trees.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Hoch, Günter and Körner, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Verlag Ferdinand Berger
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:44

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