Climate influences on growth and reproduction of Pinus banksiana (Pinaceae) at the limit of the species distribution in eastern North America


Climate influences on growth and reproduction of Pinus banksiana (Pinaceae) at the limit of the species distribution in eastern North America

Despland, Emma and Houle, Gilles (1997) Climate influences on growth and reproduction of Pinus banksiana (Pinaceae) at the limit of the species distribution in eastern North America. American Journal of Botany, 84 (8). pp. 928-937. ISSN 0002-9122

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The presence of conflicts in the allocation of resources among the different functions of an organism is a fundamental postulate of modern ecology. It is assumed that reproduction occurs at a cost because it monopolizes resources that could be used for other functions (e.g., growth). These conflicts may be particularly evident under stressful conditions, such as under low water or nutrient availability, or under severe climatic conditions. There we may expect to find strong negative relationships between an organism's growth and reproduction. We studied a population of Pinus banksiana (Pinaceae) at the northern limit of the species distribution, in subarctic Québec (Canada) where Pinus banksiana occupies nutrient-poor, sandy terraces along the Great Whale river. Serotinous cones of Pinus banksiana produced between 1969 and 1992 were sampled to estimate interannual variations in several variables representing reproduction, and to relate these to climate and tree growth. Climate appears to influence each developmental stage involved in the production of viable seeds, from the time of cone initiation to that of seed maturation. In general, reproductive variables are positively related to high temperatures during the three growing seasons required for seed production; growth is also positively correlated to summer temperatures. Consequently, investment in maturing seeds is positively associated with growth. Thus, both reproduction and growth covary with climate: during relatively warm and long growing seasons, resource allocation to both functions increases. Under these conditions, no trade-off is apparent.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Despland, Emma and Houle, Gilles
Journal or Publication:American Journal of Botany
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Keywords:climate; cost of reproduction; dendrochronology; partial Mantel test; Pinaceae; Pinus banksiana; seed production; subarctic Quebec; trade-off.
ID Code:6699
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 16:24
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:18
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