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Photoperiod and Nitrogen Supply Limit the Scope of Northward Migration and Seed Transfer of Black Spruce in a Future Climate Associated with Doubled Atmospheric CO2 Concentration

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2015.61022    3,056 Downloads   3,362 Views   Citations


The predicated changes in precipitation and temperature associated with the continued elevation of atmospheric CO2 concentration will trigger the northward shift of the Climate Envelopes for 130 North America tree species by as much as 10 degrees. However, climate envelope models do not take into account changes in other factors that may also influence the survival and growth of plants at the predicted new locations, such as photoperiod and nutrient regimes. This study investigated how photoperiod and nitrogen supply would affect the ecophysiological traits of black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill) B. S. P.) that are critical for survival and growth at new locations predicted by climate envelope models. We exposed black spruce seedlings to the photoperiod regime at the seed origin (PS) and that 10° north of the seed origin (PNM) as predicted by climate envelope models under the current and doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration and different levels of N supply (30 vs. 300 μmol·mol-1 N). We found that the PNM and the 30 μmol·mol-1 N supply both had negative impact on the development of seedling cold hardiness in the fall, and led to earlier burst of the terminal bud and greater rate of mortality in the following growing season. While the PNM stimulated seedling growth in the first growing season, the effect was not sustained in the second growing season. Our results suggest that the photoperiod regimes and poor nutrient conditions at higher latitudes will likely constrain the scope of the northward migration or seed transfer of black spruce.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Li, J. , Dang, Q. and Man, R. (2015) Photoperiod and Nitrogen Supply Limit the Scope of Northward Migration and Seed Transfer of Black Spruce in a Future Climate Associated with Doubled Atmospheric CO2 Concentration. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 189-200. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.61022.


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