Growth trajectories of diploid and tetraploid trees of the Betula pendula/B. pubescens complex (Betulaceae): a 38-year record of trunk circumference

Gill, John A. and Davy, Anthony J. (2022) Growth trajectories of diploid and tetraploid trees of the Betula pendula/B. pubescens complex (Betulaceae): a 38-year record of trunk circumference. British and Irish Botany, 4 (2). pp. 95-105. ISSN 2632-4970

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Abstract

Growth in trunk circumference in a natural, uneven-aged stand of 20 trees in the Betula pendula/B. pubescens complex at Holme Fen, Cambridgeshire, UK was monitored over a period of 38 years, from 1977-2014. At the beginning of the study, their chromosome numbers were determined, and trees were aged by counting the rings in radial cores. Circumferential growth trajectories with increasing age of five diploid and 13 tetraploid trees were modelled using three-factor sigmoidal regression. As with previous morphological and molecular studies of the same trees, the tetraploids were considerably more variable in growth trajectory than the diploids; tetraploids included both the slowest- and fastest-growing individuals. Diploids behaved more coherently, having more similar trajectories. Greater variation in tetraploids probably reflects their allopolyploid origin, with subsequent unidirectional introgression. There were indications that diploids may grow faster and reach greater asymptotic circumferences than tetraploids but the differences in this small sample were not statistically significant. There was no evidence that the two cytotypes have different life expectancies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: AJD dedicates this paper to the memory of Dr John Gill (1950-2021), whose lifelong enthusiasm for birch trees sustained this study for so long. It is a pleasure to acknowledge his numerous family members and friends who supported the fieldwork during his long illness. Natural England and its several predecessor organisations kindly allowed work at Holme Fen NNR. At the beginning of the study, the late Prof. Len LaCour FRS was very helpful in developing the method for visualising the small chromosomes of birch in stem apices.
Uncontrolled Keywords: age structure,birch trees,population variation,radial growth,sigmoidal model,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 May 2022 08:33
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2022 00:25
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85188
DOI: 10.33928/bib.2022.04.095

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