2022-07-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19138160
Is Pollen Production of Birch Controlled by Genetics and Local Conditions?
Intraspecific genetic variation might limit the relevance of environmental factors on plant traits. For example, the interaction between genetics and (a-)biotic factors regulating pollen production are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated pollen production of 28 birch (Betula pendula Roth) individuals in the years 2019–2021. We sampled catkins of eleven groups of genetically identical trees, which were partially topped, but of the same age and located in a seed plantation in southern Germany characterized by similar microclimatic conditions. Furthermore, we monitored environmental factors such as air temperature, characterized air quality (NO2, NOx and O3), and assessed potential solar radiation. We especially checked for differences between years as well as between and within clones and assessed the synchronicity of years with high/low pollen production. We present a robust mean for the pollen production of Betula pendula (1.66 million pollen grains per catkin). Our findings show temporal (H(2) = 46.29, p < 0.001) and clonal variations (H(4) = 21.44, p < 0.001) in pollen production. We conclude that synchronized high or low pollen production is not utterly site-specific and, in addition, not strictly dependent on genotypes. We suggest that appropriate clone selection based on application (seed plantation, urban planting) might be advantageous and encourage a long-term monitoring.
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