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Shimu, Shakhera Akter, 2023. Effects of climate on phenology, flowering, and berry production of boreal forest understory plants. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre



Climate is changing faster than it was predicted before and consequently its impact is highly visible
on many types of ecosystems globally. Effects of changing climate on forests and the environment
are leading to threats for all sorts of ecosystems. Now the management of forests and decision
making for environmental protection is following the trend of the impacts of climate change. Climate
change is expected to affect plant and animal phenology. Phenological studies are a way to see how
plants react to the changing climate. This study focused on this concept and tried to figure out the
effects of climate on phenology, flowering, and berry production of four important boreal forest
understory plants. Plant material was moved from colder locations (2-degree Celsius temperature
difference) to three forest sites in southern, middle, and north Sweden. The potted plants were
located in 10 different places at each site together with equally treated local plant material that served
as a control. Sites used in the transplant experiment are from north to south: Tärnaby to Vindeln
(northern Sweden), Idre to Siljan (middle of Sweden) and Tomtabacken to Vivarp (southern
Sweden). For this experiment, the studied species were Solidago virgaurea L. (European golden
rod), Vaccinium myrtillus L. (Billberry), Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (lingonberry or cowberry) and
Fragaria vesca L. (wild strawberry or woodland strawberry). Later, in the growing season, photos
were taken of both provenances (cold provenance and warm provenance) in all three forest sites.
This study aimed to find out translocation treatment effects for species-wise selected phenological
traits. Finally, through image analysis considering selected phenological traits, this research has
found strong treatment effects (at least at two sites out of three) for three phenological traits. DOY
(day of the year) of first fruit development of F. vesca responded to the translocation treatment at
Siljan and Vindeln. Again, DOY of seed setting and DOY of highest percentage of flowering of S.
virgaurea responded to the translocation treatment at Vivarp and Vindeln. But, in most cases, no
translocation treatment effects have been found for other phenological traits, and specifically for V.
myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea, no treatment effects were found throughout this experiment which
implies phenotypic plasticity. Absence of effects is an indication that these selected phenological
traits would follow the effect of climate change through the adaptation process. This research work
can be considered as a good reference for the phenology study of boreal forest understory plants,
especially to know how studied phenological traits react to a translocation experiment with a
temperature change, phenotypic plasticity and also to understand the change of phenology by
climate change for above mentioned species.

Main title:Effects of climate on phenology, flowering, and berry production of boreal forest understory plants
Authors:Shimu, Shakhera Akter
Supervisor:Hedwall, Per-Ola and Diaz Calafat, Joan
Examiner:Brunet, Jörg
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:Other
Supervising department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Keywords:Climate change, plant phenology, phenological traits, phenology change, cumulative temperature, phenotypic plasticity, genotypic variation
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Deposited On:06 Oct 2023 06:30
Metadata Last Modified:07 Oct 2023 01:01

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