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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: TAXONOMY AND GENETIC DIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF LANDSCAPE TREES AND SHRUBS Title: Leafing out phenology in woody plants of the Northern Hempisphere show phylogenetic, ecological and anatomical patterns

Authors
item Panchen, Zoe -
item Primack, Richard -
item Nordt, Birgit -
item Ellwood, Elizabeth -
item Stevens, Albert-Dieter -
item Renner, Susanne -
item Willis, Charles -
item Fahey, Robert -
item Whittemore, Alan
item Du, Yanjun -
item Davis, Charles -

Submitted to: New Phytologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 22, 2014
Publication Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: Panchen, Z., Primack, R., Nordt, B., Ellwood, E., Stevens, A., Renner, S., Willis, C., Fahey, R., Whittemore, A.T., Du, Y., Davis, C. 2014. Leafing out phenology in woody plants of the Northern Hempisphere show phylogenetic, ecological and anatomical patterns. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.111/nph.12892.

Interpretive Summary: The time when trees and shrubs leaf out in the spring affects a wide variety of ecosystem processes and ecological interactions, and it affects how natural and artificial ecosystems respond to different weather conditions in the spring. There is, however, relatively little information available on the factors determining when different species leaf out. Botanical gardens, where many species grow together under uniform conditions, are an ideal place to study factors that determine leafout time in different species of woody plants. Researchers from eight botanical gardens across the northern temperate zone recorded leaf out dates of approximately1600 woody plant species in the springs of 2011 and 2012. Leaf out dates in woody species differed by as much as three months at a single site and was strongly correlated with the wood anatomy, growth form, and phylogenetic relationships of the species. On average, angiosperms leafed out earlier than gymnosperms, deciduous species earlier than evergreen species, shrubs earlier than trees, species with diffuse and semi-ring porous wood earlier than ring porous species, and species with smaller diameter xylem vessels earlier than species with larger diameter vessels. The order in which different species leafed out was almost the same between years and among sites. This information will be used by professional ecologists and land managers, and breeders to predict how ecosystem processes such as carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in forests and shrublands will respond to varying weather conditions from year to year, and the data on leafout time will be useful to horticulturists, since leafout time is an important horticultural attribute of deciduous trees, shrubs, and vines.

Technical Abstract: Leafing out phenology affects a wide variety of ecosystem processes and ecological interactions, and it affects how natural and artificial ecosystems respond to different weather conditions in the spring. There is, however, relatively little information available on the factors affecting species differences in leafing out phenology. Botanical gardens, where many species grow together under uniform conditions, are an ideal place to study factors that determine leafout time in different species of woody plants. Researchers from eight botanical gardens across the northern temperate zone recorded leaf out dates of approximately1600 woody plant species in the springs of 2011 and 2012. Leaf out dates in woody species differed by as much as three months at a single site and was strongly correlated with the wood anatomy, growth form, and phylogenetic relationships of the species. On average, angiosperms leafed out earlier than gymnosperms, deciduous species earlier than evergreen species, shrubs earlier than trees, species with diffuse and semi-ring porous wood earlier than ring porous species, and species with smaller diameter xylem vessels earlier than species with larger diameter vessels. The order of species leaf out dates stayed near constant between years and among sites, confirming that leafing out phenology is likely species specific. This information will be used by professional ecologists and land managers, and breeders to predict how ecosystem processes such as carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in forests and shrublands will respond to varying weather conditions from year to year, and the data on leafout time will be useful to horticulturists, since leafout time is an important horticultural attribute of deciduous trees, shrubs, and vines.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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