Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Picea species from humid continental and temperate marine climates perform better in monsoonal areas of middle latitudes of China.

Abstract

Picea spp. are a prominent component of the boreal, montane, and sub-alpine forests in the Northern Hemisphere, and have substantial economic importance due to their high quality fibre. However, performance and wood properties of the genus have not been systematically evaluated in China. This study aimed to examine genetic variations in growth traits, phenology, and wood properties of 17 Picea species, (three from North America, two from Europe, and 12 from China), in response to specific climate factors using a randomized complete block design in a monsoonal, middle latitude area of China. Results show that all growth traits and wood properties significantly varied among species (P < 0.00). Of the 17 species examined, P. abies and P. pungens were the tallest with heights of 2.5 and 1.9 m at 9 years old, respectively, 90% and 50% greater than the average heights. Branch length, number, and angles of both P. abies and P. pungens were greater than those of the other species. Heights of P. glauca and P. omorika were 20-33% greater than the average. Fast-growing species had high quantities of first lateral branches and large top whorl branch lengths. The taller species exhibited greater tracheid lengths and average tracheid lengths to radial central diameter ratios (TL/R_D2), but smaller cell wall thicknesses to tracheid radial lumen diameter ratios (WT/R_D1), which is favorable for pulp production. Correlation analysis revealed that height and ring width had significant positive correlations with latitude but strongly negative correlations with longitude. Height was positively correlated with average annual rainfalls, but negative correlations with average yearly sunshine. Due to the increased average annual sunshine at the China test site relative to the seed source, species such as P. abies, P. pungens, P. glauca, and P. omorika from wet, humid areas performed better than native species. Considering similar temperatures, precipitation may be the main factor affecting growth, which is beneficial for predicting the extent of spruce expansion. These results should encourage further testing and provide reference information for future exotic species studies in this part of China.