Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (204 KB bytes)

Title: Root cold hardiness and native distribution of subalpine conifers

Author: Coleman, Mark D.; Hinckley, Thomas M.; McNaughton, Geoffrey; Smit, Barbara A.;

Date: 1992

Source: Can. J. For. Res. 22: 932-938. 1992.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Root and needle cold hardiness were compared in seedlings of subalpine conifers to determine if differences existed among species originating from either cold continental climates or mild maritime climates. Abies amabilis (Dougl.) Carr. and Tsuga mertensiana (Bong.) Carr. are exclusively distributed in maritime environments, while Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. and Pinus contorta Dougl. are more generally distributed in both continental and maritime environments. Because of the differing winter soil conditions of these two climatic types, special emphasis was placed on root cold hardiness. Cold hardiness for root samples, as measured by a decrease in the electrolyte leakage, was much greater for A. amabilis and A. lusiocarpa than for P. contorta and T. mertensiana (-11.4, -11.5, -7.5, and -7.5°C. respectively). Thus, subalpine conifer species distribution was not found to be influenced by root cold hardiness. Root cold hardiness of field-grown seedlings paralleled changes in soil temperature through February. Under constant temperature conditions (3°C) the maximum cold hardiness achieved in 6 weeks was not subsequently maintained in A. amabilis and A. lasiocarpa. Injury in unhardened roots was coincident with bulk freezing, whereas hardened roots were able to tolerate bulk freezing. Needles had more than three times the level of cold hardiness of roots when measured in December. All species except P. contorta reached needle cold hardiness levels below -40°C.

Publication Notes:

  • 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.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Coleman, Mark D.; Hinckley, Thomas M.; McNaughton, Geoffrey; Smit, Barbara A. 1992. Root cold hardiness and native distribution of subalpine conifers. Can. J. For. Res. 22: 932-938. 1992.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.