Cold-induced photoinhibition affects establishment of Eucalyptus nitens (Deane and Maiden) Maiden and Eucalyptus globulus Labill
Close, DC and Beadle, CL and Brown, PH and Holz, GK, Cold-induced photoinhibition affects establishment of Eucalyptus nitens (Deane and Maiden) Maiden and Eucalyptus globulus Labill, Trees-Structure & Function, 15, (1) pp. 32-41. ISSN 0931-1890 (2000) [Refereed Article]
The effects of cold-induced photoinhibition on Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus nitens seedlings were assessed between planting and age 23 weeks. The seedlings were subjected to four treatments before planting: non-hardened (NH) E. globulus and E. nitens, cold-hardened (CH) E. nitens, and nutrient-starved (NS) E. nitens. Seedlings were planted alongside established 1-year-old E. nitens saplings. The experimental site was at 350 m above sea level, which is considered marginal for the establishment of E. globulus plantations due to low mean minimum temperatures. Cold and sunny conditions after frost increased photoinhibition in the order: NH E. globulus > NH and CH E. nitens > NS and established E. nitens. As a result there was 20% mortality of NH E. globulus seedlings. NS E. nitens seedlings were severely photoinhibited and had high anthocyanin levels at planting; levels of photoinhibition decreased after planting, anthocyanin levels remained high and there was no mortality. Carotenoid levels were low in E. globulus compared to E. nitens treatments. It was concluded that cold-induced photoinhibition is a factor determining the range of environments where E. globulus can be successfully planted, and not frost tolerance alone. Anthocyanin was synthesised in response to increased photoinhibition. Anthocyanin levels were correlated to the severity of the photoinhibition. Thus, E. nitens seedlings nutrient starved in the nursery are pre-conditioned to photoinhibitory conditions experienced soon after planting. This treatment is a useful risk-management tool where cold-induced photoinhibition is likely to occur during seedling establishment.