U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version

May 2008


Published in Can. J. For. Res. 38: 1517-1525 (2008).


Short-term physiological responses of planting frozen (FR) and rapidly thawed (TR) root plugs of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga rnenziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seedlings were examined through time series (0 h, 6 h, 12 h, 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days) measurements in two separate experiments: 10 °C day : 6 °C night, RH 75% and 30 °C day : 20 °C night, RH 50%, respectively. Net photosynthesis, transpiration, shoot water potential, and root hydraulic conductance were lower in FR compared with TR seedlings under both growing conditions. Magnitude of difference in root hydraulic conductance was higher under warm-dry conditions. Chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) values were higher for TR than FR seedlings at 0 h, but similar thereafter for both growing conditions. Needle electrolyte leakage and chlorophyll content did not differ between FR and TR seedlings under both environmental regimes. Higher root 0 2 uptake was observed in FR seedlings in warm-dry conditions and in TR seedlings under cool-moist conditions. TR seedlings planted under warm-dry conditions had more flushed buds and new roots than FR seedlings, while no buds flushed for both FR and TR seedlings under cool-moist conditions. Comparatively higher photosynthesic rates in TR seedlings planted under warm-dry conditions likely contributed toward more new roots, which could be advantageous for survival and early growth.