Title: Changes in tracheid and ray traits in fire scars of North American conifers and their ecophysiological implications
Author: Arbellay, Estelle; Stoffel, Markus; Sutherland, Elaine K.; Smith, Kevin T.; Falk, Donald A.;
Source: Annals of Botany. 114: 223-232.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Fire scars have been widely used as proxies for the reconstruction of fire history; however, little is known about the impact of fire injury on wood anatomy. This study investigates changes in tracheid and ray traits in fire scars of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western larch (Larix occidentalis) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and discusses their ecophysiological implications for tree recovery from fire. Transverse and tangential microsections were prepared for light microscopy and image analysis. Measurements of tracheids and rays were made in the three spatial dimensions: axially (at different section heights), radially (in different rings) and tangentially (with increasing distance from the wound margin). Changes were strongest in the first year after fire injury, with a decrease in tracheid size (by 25-30 %) and an increase in tracheid density (by 21-53 %)for the three species. In addition, an increase in raysize (by 5-27 %) and an increase in ray density (by 19-36 %)were found in P. menziesii and L. occidentalis. Changes were comparable along the fire-injured stem and were often most marked close to the fire scar. The differentiation after fire injury of narrower and more numerous tracheids expresses a trade-off between hydraulic safety and hydraulic efficiency, while that of larger and more numerous rays serves compartmentalization and wound closure, mechanical strength and defence responses. Pinus ponderosa does not generally produce more ray tissue after fire injury and thus appears to be more adapted to fire.
Keywords: Ecophysiology, conifer, fire scar, Larix occidentalis, western larch, Pinus ponderosa, ponderosa pine, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas fir, ray, tracheid, wood anatomy
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
XML: View XML
Arbellay, Estelle; Stoffel, Markus; Sutherland, Elaine K.; Smith, Kevin T.; Falk, Donald A. 2014. Changes in tracheid and ray traits in fire scars of North American conifers and their ecophysiological implications. Annals of Botany. 114: 223-232.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility