A new method to determine the oxygen concentration inside the sapwood of trees.
Research into the short-term fluctuations of oxygen concentrations in tree stems has been hampered by the difficulty of measuring oxygen inside tissues. A new method, which is based on fluorescence quenching of a ruthenium complex in the presence of oxygen, has been applied to measure changes of oxygen concentration in the sapwood of trees. During a field day-course oxygen increased with the radiation load and fell during the night (in Fagus orientalis from 20.3% in the afternoon to 17.5% in the morning next day). In a greenhouse experiment the sapwood oxygen concentration of Laurus nobilis could be influenced by flooding the root system. The very fast response, high resolution (better than 0.1%), easy calibration, and dependence only on oxygen and temperature make the technique well suited for measurements of oxygen concentrations in the sapwood. (+info)
Physiological responses of beech and sessile oak in a natural mixed stand during a dry summer.
Responses of CO2 assimilation and stomatal conductance to decreasing leaf water potential, and to environmental factors, were analysed in a mixed natural stand of sessile oak (Quercus petraea ssp. medwediewii) and beech (Fagus svlvatica L.) in Greece during the exceptionally dry summer of 1998. Seasonal courses of leaf water potential were similar for both species, whereas mean net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance were always higher in sessile oak than in beech. The relationship between net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance was strong for both species. Sessile oak had high rates of photosynthesis even under very low leaf water potentials and high air temperatures, whereas the photosynthetic rate of beech decreased at low water potentials. Diurnal patterns were similar in both species but sessile oak had higher rates of CO2 assimilation than beech. Our results indicate that sessile oak is more tolerant of drought than beech, due, in part, to its maintenance of photosynthesis at low water potential. (+info)
Does canopy position affect wood specific gravity in temperate forest trees?
The radial increases in wood specific gravity known in many tree species have been interpreted as providing mechanical support in response to the stresses associated with wind loading. This interpretation leads to the hypothesis that individuals reaching the canopy should (1) be more likely to have radial increases in specific gravity and (2) exhibit greater increases than individuals in the subcanopy. Wood specific gravity was determined for three species of forest trees (Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia and Tsuga canadensis) growing in central Massachusetts, USA. Acer rubrum shows radial increases in specific gravity, but these increases are not more pronounced in canopy trees; the other two species show a pattern of radial decreases. The degree of radial increase or decrease is influenced by tree height and diameter. Of the dominant tree species for which we have data, A. rubrum, Betula papyrifera and Pinus strobus show radial increases in specific gravity, whereas F. grandifolia, T. canadensis and Quercus rubra show decreases. The occurrence of radial increases in B. papyrifera and P. strobus, which are often canopy emergents, suggests that it is overall adaptive strategy that is important rather than position (canopy vs. subcanopy) of any individual tree. It is suggested that radial increases in specific gravity are associated with early-successional status or characteristics and decreases with late-successional status or persistence in mature forest. (+info)
Water and lipid relations in beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) seeds and its effect on storage behaviour.
Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) seeds indicate intermediate storage behaviour. Properties of water in seed tissues were studied to understand their requirements during storage conditions. Water sorption isotherms showed that at the same relative humidity (RH) the water content is significantly higher in embryo axes than cotyledons. This tendency maintains also after recalculating the water content for zero amount of lipids in tissues. Differential thermal analysis (DTA) indicated water crystallization exotherms in the embryo axes at moisture content (MC) higher than 29% and 16% in the cotyledons. In order to examine the occurrence of glassy state in the cytoplasm of beech embryos as a function of water content, isolated embryo axes were examined using electron spin resonance (ESR) of nitroxide TEMPO probe located inside axes cells. TEMPO molecules undergo fast reorientations with correlation time varied from 2 x 10(-9) s at 180 K to 2 x 10(-11) s at 315 K. Although the TEMPO molecules label mainly the lipid bilayers of cell membranes, they are sensitive to the dynamics and phase transformation of the cytoplasmic cell interior. The label motion is clearly affected by a transition between liquid and glassy state of the cytoplasm. The glass transition temperature (T(g)) raises from 253 to 293 K when water content decreases from 18% to 8%. Far from T(g) the motion is described by Arrhenius equation with very small activation energy E(a) in the liquid state and is relatively small in the glassy state where E(a)=1.5 kJ/mol for 28% H(2)O and E(a)=4.7 kJ/mol for 8% H(2)O or less. The optimal storage conditions of beech seeds are proposed in the range from 255 K for 15% H(2)O to 280 K for 9% H(2)O. (+info)
Assessments of impacts of nitrogen deposition on beech forests: results from the Pan-European Monitoring Programme.
The article reviews effects of nitrogen (N) deposition on beech forest ecosystems in Europe. On the basis of beech plots of the Pan-European Monitoring Programme of ICP Forests and the EU, the deposition of N compounds as well as input-output budgets are listed and compared with studies in North America. The authors also discuss the critical threshold for N leaching. At present, N is leached in 10% of the plots evaluated. An in-depth evaluation of a beech plot in central Germany is presented. The high N leaching results in a considerable increase (four times higher N content in 2000 compared to 1965) in the export of nitrate from the beech forests from a nearby source. Finally, ecophysiological indicators (N content in beech leaves, fine root system, N content, root/shoot ratios) are discussed as a result of high N input. (+info)
On methods of spatial analysis for genotyped individuals.
Spatial autocorrelation methods have commonly been applied to individual-based spatial genetic studies, although their properties and the relations among the statistics have not been carefully examined. This paper first introduces a reformulation of widely used spatial statistics using point processes. When Moran's I statistics are applied to allele frequencies within an individual, the frequencies are no longer continuous variables but have only three discrete values and specific interpretations of Moran's I statistics and the number of alleles in common (NAC) can be expressed as the weighted sum of join-count statistics. The distributions of minor genotypes are amplified in Moran's I depending on the allele frequency in the population, while NAC uses a constant weighting system. Under the point process framework, spatial analysis can be conducted on the common theoretical base, from individual locations to genetic distributions of different levels, (for example, genotype and allele). The methodology is demonstrated by application to field data for molecular ecological studies of Fagus crenata population dynamics. (+info)
Negative regulation of abscisic acid signaling by the Fagus sylvatica FsPP2C1 plays a role in seed dormancy regulation and promotion of seed germination.
FsPP2C1 was previously isolated from beech (Fagus sylvatica) seeds as a functional protein phosphatase type-2C (PP2C) with all the conserved features of these enzymes and high homology to ABI1, ABI2, and PP2CA, PP2Cs identified as negative regulators of ABA signaling. The expression of FsPP2C1 was induced upon abscisic acid (ABA) treatment and was also up-regulated during early weeks of stratification. Furthermore, this gene was specifically expressed in ABA-treated seeds and was hardly detectable in vegetative tissues. In this report, to provide genetic evidence on FsPP2C1 function in seed dormancy and germination, we used an overexpression approach in Arabidopsis because transgenic work is not feasible in beech. Constitutive expression of FsPP2C1 under the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter confers ABA insensitivity in Arabidopsis seeds and, consequently, a reduced degree of seed dormancy. Additionally, transgenic 35S:FsPP2C1 plants are able to germinate under unfavorable conditions, as inhibitory concentrations of mannitol, NaCl, or paclobutrazol. In vegetative tissues, Arabidopsis FsPP2C1 transgenic plants show ABA-resistant early root growth and diminished induction of the ABA-response genes RAB18 and KIN2, but no effect on stomatal closure regulation. Seed and vegetative phenotypes of Arabidopsis 35S:FsPP2C1 plants suggest that FsPP2C1 negatively regulates ABA signaling. The ABA inducibility of FsPP2C1 expression, together with the transcript accumulation mainly in seeds, suggest that it could play an important role modulating ABA signaling in beechnuts through a negative feedback loop. Finally, we suggest that negative regulation of ABA signaling by FsPP2C1 is a factor contributing to promote the transition from seed dormancy to germination during early weeks of stratification. (+info)
Diversity of culturable phyllosphere bacteria on beech and oak: the effects of lepidopterous larvae.
The community composition of epiphytic heterotrophic bacteria on leaves of beech and oak, which were either damaged by lepidopterous larvae or remained undamaged, was investigated. In addition, the ability of these bacteria to utilize inorganic nitrogen was studied. The bacteria were isolated on nutrient agar and systematically identified with biochemical and physiological tests. Rarefaction plots and the Shannon-Wiener function revealed that species diversity was significantly higher on leaves of damaged beech compared to undamaged leaves, but no differences were found on leaves of oak. The portion of bacterial isolates showing a strong response to ammonia and nitrate was significantly larger on leaves of oak than on those of beech. Furthermore, significantly more isolates with a high capability to assimilate both nitrogen compounds were found on leaves attacked by the folivorous larvae compared to those not attacked on oak. It is suggested that the changes in the microbial community in response to folivorous insects might affect the extent of nutrient cycling exceeding eventually the scale of a leaf. (+info)