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Pith: A new criterion for monitoring the architecture in Mediterranean pines

Buissart F., Caraglio Y., Borianne P., Guéroult M., Le Bec J., Pailler F., Vennetier M., Zilliox C., Sabatier S.A.. 2015. Trees, 29 (6) : p. 1827-1836.

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-015-1264-6

Plant architecture can be used to study plant development retrospectively thanks to time-dependent morphological markers, particularly those corresponding to the winter break in temperate regions. The Aleppo Pine and the Turkish Pine are polycyclic species, thus they usually develop several consecutive growth units per year, making it sometimes difficult to date them. In this study, we show that keeping track of the pith diameter profile, to date each shoot, is an efficient method. The pith diameter is larger on the first growth unit than on the last growth unit of the year. Moreover, a pairwise comparison showed that the pith diameter undergoes a decrease along the annual shoot from the first growth unit to the last. As pith diameter decreases upwards the annual shoot, it can be used for dating. Pith diameter progresses from 1 year to another too: there is an increase in the early years of life, corresponding to the tree's establishment phase. Lastly, we found a positive relationship between the basal pith diameter of an annual shoot and its length. The variability around this relationship could reflect environmental conditions, especially climate conditions.

Mots-clés : pinus halepensis; pinus brutia; anatomie végétale; morphologie végétale; moelle; bois de coeur; accroissement du diamètre; port de la plante; cycle de développement; zone tempérée; croissance; cerne; modèle de croissance forestière; architecture des arbres; architecture végétale

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