Cold in the common garden: comparative low-temperature tolerance of boreal and temperate conifer foliage
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Trees. 21: 557-567.
Because they maintain green foliage throughout the winter season, evergreen conifers may face special physiological challenges in a warming world. We assessed the midwinter low-temperature (LT) tolerance of foliage from eight temperate and boreal species in each of the genera Abies, Picea, and Pinus growing in an arboretum in Trondheim, Norway, using relative electrolyte leakage (REL) as an index of cell injury. Relatively LT sensitive species came from temperate coastal and Mediterranean environments and displayed a well-defined sigmoidal response to LT stress, with LT50 ranging from -27 to -38°C. Species originating from boreal regions were not lethally stressed by slow freezing to temperatures as low as -80°C, while species from temperate mountains and continental interiors displayed intermediate responses, with LT50s ranging from -33 to -44°C.
Keywordsfrost tolerance, winter physiology, sugars, biogeography
Strimbeck, G. Richard; Kjellsen, Trygve D.; Schaberg, Paul G.; Murakami, Paula F. 2007. Cold in the common garden: comparative low-temperature tolerance of boreal and temperate conifer foliage. Trees. 21: 557-567.