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The relative weight of ontogeny, topology and climate in the architectural development of three North American conifers

Buissart F., Vennetier M., Delagrange S., Girard F., Caraglio Y., Sabatier S.A., Munson A.D., Nicolini E.A.. 2018. AoB Plants, 10 (4) : 147 p..

Knowledge of plant architecture allows retrospective study of plant development, hence provides powerful tools, through modelling and simulation, to link this development with environmental constraints, and then predict its response to global change. The present study aims to determine some of the main endogenous and exogenous variables driving the architectural development of three North American conifers. We measured architectural traits retrospectively on the trunk, branches and twigs of whole tree crowns for each species: annual shoot length (ASL), needle length, branching patterns and reproduction organs (male and female). We fitted a partial least square (PLS) regression to explain each architectural trait with respect to topological, ontogenic and climatic variables. Results showed a significant weight of these three groups of variables for previous and current year, corresponding, respectively, to organogenesis and elongation. Topological and ontogenic variables had the greatest weight in models. Particularly, all architectural traits were strongly correlated with ASL. We highlighted a negative architectural response of two species to higher than average temperatures, whereas the third one took advantage of these higher temperatures to some degree. Tree architectural development weekly but significantly improved with higher precipitation. Our study underlines the strong weight of topology and ontogeny in tree growth patterns at twig and branch scales. The correlation between ASL and other tree architectural traits should be integrated into architectural development models. Climate variables are secondary in importance at the twig scale. However, interannual climate variations influence all axis categories and branching orders and therefore significantly impact crown development as a whole. This latter impact may increase with climate change, especially as climate affects architectural traits over at least 2 years, through organogenesis and elongation.

Mots-clés : facteur climatique; facteur édaphique; croissance; anatomie végétale; morphologie végétale; pinus strobus; pinus banksiana; québec; amérique du nord; pinus mariana

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

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