Tree seasonality in a warming climate
Junttila, Olavi Department of Biology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.
- Seasonality of growth activity and dormancy
- Seasonality of frost tolerance
- Effects of global warming
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
In the northern boreal areas and temperate regions, climate is characterized by significant annual variation between the summer and winter seasons. Adaptation to this climatic variation has resulted in tree seasonality. This seasonality is visible as annual cycles of growth and inactivity (dormancy). As growth cessation is a prerequisite for significant frost tolerance in northern tree species, the growth–dormancy cycles are correlated closely with seasonality with regard to hardiness and stress tolerance. Proper timing of these seasonal cycles, with respect to prevailing temperature conditions, is critical for survival under these climatic conditions. The seasonal cycles are controlled by an interaction of genetic and climatic factors, but the physiological and molecular mechanisms for the two cycles are quite different. Seasonality in northern tree species is a result of genetic adaptation to climate, and changes in the climatic conditions will affect the control of seasonality and may have consequences for survival and distribution of tree species.
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