Temporal patterns of pollen shedding for longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) at the Escambia Experimental Forest in Alabama, USA
Longleaf pine is an important tree species in the southeastern United States and studying the temporal patterns of pollen shedding is crucial to a better understanding of its phenology and seed production. In this study, field observation data on the timing of pollen shedding from 1958 to 2013 were analyzed with reference to local weather conditions. Our results indicated that the time of peak pollen shedding after January 1 (TPPS) ranged from 53 days (about February 22) to 95 days (around April 5). There was no significant trend of decreasing TPPS. The number of days with the maximum air temperature above 0 °C was close to the TPPS. The accumulated maximum daily air temperature for the TPPS approximated an average of 1,342 °C. The TPPS declined with an increase in the average air temperature during winters. The time of 80% accumulated pollen density (TAPD) varied from 5 to 32 days, with an average of 13 days. Taylor’s power-law was evident in the TAPD data, with the time group of 10–15 days having an interval time of 2 years. Winter weather was not correlated with the TAPD. These results provide new information concerning the pollen phenology for longleaf pine trees.