Provenance geographical and climatic characteristics influence budburst phenology of southwestern Ponderosa pine seedlings

Aalap Dixit, Thomas Kolb, Owen Burney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson var. scopulorum Engelm.) forests of the southwestern US are threatened by climate change and deforestation. Information about geographic patterns of provenance variation in budburst phenology is needed to make decisions about selecting seed sources for future planting. In this study, provenance variation in the budburst phenology of ponderosa pine seedlings was examined using common garden studies. Seedlings from 21 provenances, representing an elevational gradient in Arizona and New Mexico, were planted in July 2018 at a ponderosa pine-dominated field site in northern Arizona. Field budburst was monitored weekly on all seedlings in the spring of 2019. Field budburst was compared with budburst timing of the same provenances measured under greenhouse conditions. The hypotheses for this study were that (1) budburst varies among provenances, with earlier budburst in low-elevation provenances, and (2) differences in budburst timing among provenances are consistent for seedlings grown in greenhouse and field environments. Field results show that provenances vary in budburst date and that low-and middle-elevation provenances break bud sooner than high-elevation provenances. Field budburst date had a moderate, positive correlation with provenance mean annual precipitation (r = 0.522) and a moderate, negative trend with latitude (r = −0.413). Budburst date of provenances in the greenhouse had a moderate, positive trend with budburst date in the field (r = 0.554), suggesting application of greenhouse results to field plantings. Such information about provenance variation and environmental and geographic trends in budburst timing will be useful for developing species-specific seed transfer guidelines and effective assisted migration strategies in a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1067
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Budburst
  • Common garden
  • Elevation
  • Latitude
  • Phenology
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Precipitation
  • Provenance variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


Dive into the research topics of 'Provenance geographical and climatic characteristics influence budburst phenology of southwestern Ponderosa pine seedlings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this