Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract. Plants of Pinus radiata of two physiological ages, juvenile (seedlings and micropropagated plantlets) and adult (rooted cuttings from mature trees), were grown under lighting fromthree combinations of metal halide (MH) and tungsten halogen (TH) lamps for up to 10 months in controlled environment rooms. The three lamp combinations, MH alone, 50: 50 MH: TH and 25:75 MH: TH by wattage, produced red: farred ratios of 4.59, 1.51, and 1.15, respectively. Photosynthetic photon flux density was 700 μmol m−2 s−1. An increase in proportion of TH lamps markedly increased shoot elongation and internode length, decreased numbers of fascicles per unit stem length and increased the proportion of stem weight in both juvenile and adult material. In addition, in adult material, it increased the number of fascicle initials and expanded fascicles per growth flush, reduced the duration of the ‘rest’ phase between growth flushes, accelerated the rate of elongation growth during each flush, and increased apical dominance. Tracheid length, but not diameter or wall thickness, was significantly affected by light quality and found to be associated with longer internodes. Any treatment effects on needle weight or length, stem diameter or root weight were non-significant or very small. Different clones from either the juvenile micro-propagated material or the mature rooted cuttings each showed similar patterns of response, although they often differed in the degree of response to light quality. The main response could be related solely to the red: far-red ratio and the calculated phytochrome photoequilibrium. This is the first report of phytochrome-controlled photomorphogenesis in older specimens of a woody perennial. Recommendations for artificial light sources for growing P. radiata and some ecological implications of the results are presented.
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