Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-010-0471-4

Abstract: The Spanish populations of Pinus sylvestris L. occupy differentiated sites and must therefore include structural variations to cope with varied climate conditions. This study compares wood anatomical traits of P. sylvestris from ten Spanish regions of provenance with contrasting climates, taking into account the effects of region of provenance and tree nested within provenance on variation in wood biometry. In general, the effect of both sources of variation (provenance and tree) on wood biometry was highly significant. Most of the anatomical variations observed were intra-populational (at the tree level), although variation explained by provenance was high for some parameters (e.g., ray frequency and ray parenchyma cell frequency), suggesting high environmental influence. Trees in the driest region, growing in a Mediterranean phytoclimate, were characterized by large tracheid lumens, suggesting more efficient water conduction. They also had thick cell walls, which would reduce the risk of cavitation caused by high implosion stress during periods of drought, as well as a high ray tracheid frequency, implying greater water storage capacity in the sapwood. The population with greatest growth, located in an oroboreal phytoclimate, was characterized by large bordered pits and long tracheids, which would reduce resistivity in water transport. At higher altitudes, tracheid lumen diameter and resin canal diameter tended to be smaller, and intertracheid wall strength was greater. Results are discussed in relation to adaptation of the species to growth demands and frost.