Finnish Society of Forest Science
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. Populus tremuloides Michx.) plantations are expanding in Fennoscandia and the Baltic countries; however, the possible effects of plantations on the native European aspen (P. tremula) and the level of gene flow between European and hybrid aspen have not been investigated. We studied seed quantity and quality in intraspecific and interspecific crosses of the European and hybrid aspens over a two year period. In order to study whether elevated temperatures due to climate change would benefit the species differently, we performed the crosses in different temperatures. In both years, interspecific crosses produced more seeds with higher quality than intraspecific crosses. This result was most distinct in crosses between female hybrid aspen and male European aspen. In higher temperatures, relative germination difference between hybrid aspen seeds and seeds from P. tremula P. tremula crosses seems to increase. These results suggest that hybrid aspen may have a significant genetic impact on the European aspen, and this effect may be strengthened by climate warming.
Koivuranta, L., Latva-Karjanmaa, T. and Pulkkinen, P. 2012. The effect of temperature on seed quality and quantity in crosses between European (Populus tremula) and hybrid aspens (P. tremula × P. tremuloides). Silva Fennica 46, 17 - 26.