Olszyk, David, Martha Apple, Barbara Gartner, Rachel Spicer, Claudia Wise, Erica Buckner, Annick Benson-Scott and David Tingey. 2005 Xeromorphy increases in shoots of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco seedlings with exposure to elevated temperature but not elevated CO2. Trees 19:552-563. WED-04-144
Seedling structure influences tree structure and function, ultimately determining the potential productivity of trees and their competitiveness for resources. We investigated changes in shoot structure for seedlings of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) grown under climate change scenarios of ambient or elevated CO2 (+180 mol mol–1) plus ambient or elevated temperature (+3.5°C), for 4 years in outdoor, sunlit chambers. Mass allocation and allometry were measured for buds, leaves, branches, and stems, and anatomy was evaluated for leaves and stems. Seedlings became more xeromorphic with elevated temperature: allocation of total mass to branches over stems and leaves increased, sapwood area to height ratio increased, number of growing points relative to seedling size increased, and stem and branch length and mass decreased for sections initiated during the three full CO2 and temperature seasons. Neither stem nor leaf anatomy was affected by elevated temperature. Elevated CO2 increased specific mass of leaves, but had few other effects on mass allocation, allometry, or anatomy for any shoot organ. There were no CO2 × temperature interactions for any important parameter. Thus, under realistic simulated field environmental conditions representative for in at least some P. menziesii forests (i.e., OR, USA, forests with limited soil nitrogen and summer soil moisture), elevated temperature, but not elevated CO2, may affect seedling shoot structure and, hence, function.