Late canopy closure delays senescence and promotes growth of a spring ephemeral, Allium tricoccum

Authors: Dion, Pierre-PaulBussières, JulieLapointe, Line
Abstract: Spring ephemerals take advantage of the high light conditions in spring to accumulate carbon reserves through photosynthesis before tree leaves unfold. Recent work has reported delayed leaf senescence under constant light availability in some spring ephemerals, such as wild leek (Allium tricoccum). This paper aims to establish whether tree canopy composition and phenology can influence the growth of spring ephemerals through changes in their phenology. Wild leek bulbs were planted in 31 plots in southern Quebec, Canada, under canopies varying in composition and densities. Light availability and tree phenology were measured, along with other environmental conditions, and their effect on the growth of wild leeks was assessed with a redundancy analysis. Higher light availability resulted in better growth of wild leeks. The plants postponed their senescence under trees with late bud-burst, and thus better bulb growth and seed production were achieved. The tree litter and temperature and moisture levels of the soil also influenced the growth and survival of wild leeks. Thus, tree leaf phenology appears to have a strong impact on the growth of spring ephemerals by modulating the length of their growing season and their photosynthetic capacity. This underlines the importance of considering the variation of light availability throughout the growing season in the study of spring ephemerals.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 13 February 2017
Open Access Date: 18 July 2019
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Botany, Vol. 95 (5), 457–467 (2017)
Canadian Science Publishing
Alternative version: 10.1139/cjb-2016-0317
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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