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Tree Physiol. 2008 Dec;28(12):1813-9.

Temperature responses of cambial reactivation and xylem differentiation in hybrid poplar (Populus sieboldii x P. grandidentata) under natural conditions.

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  • 1Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu-Tokyo 183-8509, Japan.


Several studies have demonstrated that localized heating of tree stems induces localized cambial reactivation. We analyzed by light microscopy the effects of early spring increases in ambient temperature in 2005 and 2007 on the timing of cambial reactivation and xylem differentiation in stems of two trees of a cloned deciduous hardwood hybrid poplar (Populus sieboldii Miquel. x P. grandidentata Michx.) growing under natural conditions. Meteorological data at the study site showed that temperatures in late winter and early spring differed markedly between 2005 and 2007, with trends toward higher temperatures starting around April 3 in 2005 and around March 20 in 2007. Cambial reactivation occurred about 17 days earlier in 2007 than in 2005. The cumulative daily maximum temperature in excess of 15 degrees C (maximum daily temperatures minus 15 degrees C) in late winter and early spring before cambial reactivation was defined as the cambial reactivation index (CRI(15)). Cambial reactivation, which began when the minimum temperature rose above 0 degrees C, occurred when the CRI(15) was 93 and 96 degrees C in 2005 and 2007, respectively. The differentiation of secondary xylem started earlier in 2007 than in 2005. On May 27, we found a wider current-year band of xylem and a higher frequency of small-diameter vessel elements in 2007 than in 2005. We propose that the timing of cambial reactivation is controlled by air temperature and that earlier cambial reactivation induces earlier differentiation of xylem in hybrid poplar under natural conditions. Our results indicate that the CRI might be a useful indicator of the timing of cambial reactivation.

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