Acclimation abilities of three tropical rainforest seedlings to an increase in light intensity

Claussen, J.W. (1996) Acclimation abilities of three tropical rainforest seedlings to an increase in light intensity. Forest Ecology and Management, 80 (1-3). pp. 245-255.

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Current practices in many nurseries involve the germination of tropical rainforest seedlings in shaded conditions and transferral, at a later date, to environments with greater light intensities. Determination of the ability of these seedlings to acclimate to increased light intensities will allow seedling stock to be processed with maximum efficiency within the nursery. The acclimation abilities of three species, Agyrodendron actinophyllum, Cardwellia sublimis, and Flindersia brayleyana, commonly found in north Queensland's rainforests were investigated in this study. These particular species are highly valued for their cabinet timber qualities and are being reared in nurseries for use in reforestation trials and programs in north Queensland. Seedlings were initially raised in greenhouse conditions under two layers of shade cloth (16% of full sunlight) and then transferred into full sunlight at three different ages (3 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks). Upon transfer, organ ratios and the direction of dry matter distribution was determined for each species and age group. Approximately 3 months after the seedlings were transferred, the acclimation ability of each species and age group was then determined. Dry matter distribution was found to change with age, irrespective of light environment. Individuals within a species with larger root systems and thicker or more dense leaves had a greater acclimation ability than those with smaller root systems and thinner or less dense leaves. Furthermore, individuals within a species whose dry matter distribution upon transfer was directed towards developing a large root system, and a small photosynthetic area and mass, had a greater acclimation ability than those whose dry matter distribution was directed away from such morphologies. Awareness of these relationships allows a better understanding of seedling response to gap formation in natural forests, and also allows plant nursery operators to make a more informed decision about when to move seedlings to environments with a higher light intensity.

Item ID: 1372
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-7042
Keywords: dry matter distribution; organ ratio; leaf area
Date Deposited: 10 May 2007
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0804 Data Format > 080499 Data Format not elsewhere classified @ 100%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070508 Tree Nutrition and Physiology @ 0%
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