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Dating branch growth units in a tropical tree using morphological and anatomical markers: The case of Parkia velutina Benoist (Mimosoïdeae)

Nicolini E.A., Beauchêne J., Leudet de la Vallée B., Ruelle J., Mangenet T., Heuret P.. 2012. Annals of Forest Science, 69 (5) : p. 543-555.

Context In tropical areas, studies based on the retrospective analysis of tree development have focused principally on growth ring research. The interpretation of primary growth markers is overlooked although it opens perspectives to provide long time-series on tree-crown development. Aims This study focused on Parkia velutina, an emergent tree of neotropical rain forests. Our objectives were (1) to characterize the phenological cycle of this species, and (2) to identify temporally interpretable morphological and anatomical markers. Methods We collected dominant branches in 14 adult trees and identified growth markers that limit longitudinal and radial increments. We coupled this approach with a 2-year phenological survey of 20 trees. Results Leaf shedding, growth unit elongation and growth ring formation define the phenological cycle. At tree scale, this cycle is synchronous and affects all axes. At population scale, trees can be desynchronized. This cycle is annual despite some slight variability. Successive growth units and growth rings are easily identifiable. Conclusion Dating a branch by counting the number of growth units or growth rings is possible in many years with a reasonable error. Nevertheless, estimating their precise month of formation in order to study climatic influences remains difficult. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : facteur climatique; phénologie; développement biologique; cycle de développement; dendrochronologie; croissance; bois; houppier; port de la plante; anatomie végétale; forêt tropicale; organisme indicateur; parkia; guyane française; architecture des arbres; parkia velutina

Thématique : Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Anatomie et morphologie des plantes; Foresterie - Considérations générales

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