Aspen Bibliography


Carbon gain and bud physiology in Populus tremuloides and Betula papyrifera grown under long-term exposure to elevated concentrations of CO2 and O3

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Tree Physiology





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Paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) and three trembling aspen clones (Populus tremuloides Michx.) were studied to determine if alterations in carbon gain in response to an elevated concentration of CO2 ([CO2]) or O3 ([O3]) or a com- bination of both affected bud size and carbohydrate composi- tion in autumn, and early leaf development in the following spring. The trees were measured for gas exchange, leaf size, date of leaf abscission, size and biochemical characteristics of the overwintering buds and early leaf development during the 8th–9th year of free-air CO2 and O3 exposure at the Aspen FACE site located near Rhinelander, WI. Net photosynthesis was enhanced 49–73% by elevated [CO2], and decreased 13–30% by elevated [O3]. Elevated [CO2] delayed, and ele- vated [O3] tended to accelerate, leaf abscission in autumn. Ele- vated [CO2] increased the ratio of monosaccharides to di- and oligosaccharides in aspen buds, which may indicate a lag in cold acclimation. The total carbon concentration in over- wintering buds was unaffected by the treatments, although ele- vated [O3] decreased the amount of starch by 16% in birch buds, and reduced the size of aspen buds, which may be related to the delayed leaf development in aspen during the spring. Ele- vated [CO2] generally ameliorated the effects of elevated [O3]. Our results show that both elevated [CO2] and elevated [O3] have the potential to alter carbon metabolism of overwintering buds. These changes may cause carry-over effects during the next growing season.