Responses of two genetically superior loblolly pine clonal ideotypes to a severe ice storm
An increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, such as major ice storms, can have severe impacts on southern forests. We investigated the damage inflicted by a severe ice storm that occurred in February 2014 on two loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) ideotypes in Cross, South Carolina located in the southeastern coastal plain. The ‘‘narrow crown” ideotype allocates more resources to stem growth while the ‘‘broad crown” ideotype allocates more of its resources to leaf area. We sampled each clone in August of 2014 and assessed damage based on four mutually exclusive damage categories: crown damage(visual estimation of percent damage); bent bole (bending shape and angle); snapped bole (distance from ground to snapped height); and uprooted. Damage category was statistically different between clones (v2 = 120.36;p = 0.001); 67% of the individuals of the narrow crown ideotype suffered crown damage compared to 94% of the broad crown ideotype; 27% of the individuals of narrow crown ideotype suffered immediate mortality after the bole snapped, compared to only 3% for the broad crown. Of the individuals that incurred crown damage, the degree of damage sustained was statistically different by clonal type (F = 8.73;p < 0.01). The broad crown ideotype incurred greater crown damage than the narrow crown (38.0 ± 1.34 and 31.8 ± 1.6, respectively). Damage that resulted in a bent bole was minimal, with 4% for the narrow crown ideotype and 3% for the broad crown. The observed clonal differences in response to damage that incurred from an extreme ice storm may be attributed to differences in morphology and carbon allocation strategies between the two ideotypes. These differences are important to carbon sequestration projects and ideotype development in regions that are prone to extreme glazing events
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