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Journal Article

Growth of Betula pubescens and Pinus sylvestris Seedlings in a Subarctic Environment

P. S. Karlsson and K. O. Nordell
Functional Ecology
Vol. 1, No. 1 (1987), pp. 37-44
DOI: 10.2307/2389355
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389355
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Growth of Betula pubescens and Pinus sylvestris Seedlings in a Subarctic Environment
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Abstract

The relative growth rates of seedlings of the deciduous tree Betula pubescens ssp. tortuosa (Ledeb.) Nyman and the evergreen tree Pinus sylvestris L. were compared in a subarctic environment using material grown in pots. The species showed similar growth rates under low nutrient conditions, while Betula grew faster under high nutrient conditions. The higher growth rate of Betula under high nutrient conditions is apparently a function of a larger leaf area per unit plant mass combined with a larger proportion by weight of roots. Intraspecific variation in the growth rates of both species was mainly caused by differences in unit leaf rates. The unit leaf rate was higher for Pinus than for Betula under nutrient poor conditions but there was little difference when species were growing under nutrient rich conditions. The leaf productivity per unit leaf nitrogen was similar for both species when grown under nutrient poor conditions but Betula was more productive per unit N under high nutrient conditions. The species showed similar relations between nitrogen uptake and root mass. Betula lost 5-25% of the whole plant nitrogen at leaf abscission, while Pinus lost 0-2.6% of the nitrogen in the leaves which were shed during a year. The plasticity in dry matter partitioning was relatively small for both species when compared with woody plants in more southern environments.

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