Variation in seedling budburst phenology and structural traits among southwestern ponderosa pine provenances

Aalap Dixit, Thomas Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We used a common garden study to investigate genetic variation in spring budburst phenology, growth, and structural traits of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson var. scopulorum Engelm.) seedlings from 10 provenances of different elevations in Arizona and New Mexico, United States. Seedlings were grown with ample resources for two growing seasons in a greenhouse in northern Arizona. Budburst date was measured at the onset of the second growing season; seedling growth, biomass, biomass ratios (shoot:root ratio, root mass ratio, stem mass ratio, and leaf mass ratio), and specific leaf area were measured at the end of the second season. Low-elevation provenances (<2000 m) had earlier budburst and lower specific leaf area than middle- (2000-2500 m) and high-elevation (>2500 m) provenances. Height, leaf length, biomass, and biomass ratios were similar for elevational groups. Total biomass was positively correlated (r = 0.824) with provenance mean annual precipitation. Shoot:root ratio was positively correlated (r = 0.652) with longitude. Results suggest adaptation of low-elevation provenances to warm spring temperatures (early budburst) and aridity (low specific leaf area), inherently faster growth of provenances from wet locations, and greater allocation to shoots in eastern provenances. Such information about geographic patterns of genetic variation may be useful for selecting seed sources for planting in a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-879
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020


  • Climate change
  • Drought
  • Genetic variation
  • Phenology
  • Pinus ponderosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology


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