Shoot water relations of mature black spruce families displaying a genotype x environment interaction in growth rate. I. Family and site effects over three growing seasons
Pressure-volume curves were determined for black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) trees from four full-sib families. During the first two years, trees were measured from a plantation on a dry site. In the third year, trees were sampled from the dry site and a wet site. Diurnal measurements of shoot water potential allowed in situ shoot turgor to be estimated in addition to standard water relations traits. Over all years, Female 59 progeny displayed lower osmotic potentials at saturation (Y sat) than Female 63 progeny. Genetic differences in Y sat were similar on both the dry and wet sites. Modulus of elasticity (e ) was greater for Female 59 progeny than for Female 63 progeny, producing a compensatory effect resulting in no genetic or site differences in osmotic potential at turgor loss point (Y tlp) or relative water content at turgor loss point (RWC tlp). Mean and predawn shoot turgor pressures (P x and P pd) were higher for Female 59 progeny than for Female 63 progeny and higher at the wet site than the dry site. Genotype % environment trends were observed; compared to Female 63 progeny, Female 59 progeny displayed 9.8 and 5.1 percent higher P pd on the dry and wet sites, respectively, and 3.4 and 9.8 percent greater P pd values in wet and dry years, respectively. Tree volume growth showed no relationship to Y tlp or RWC tlp, but was correlated with Y sat and P x; however, the strongest correlation was with P ph (r =0.90).