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Study of the needle and cone tissue of alpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt) Roller, Kalman Joseph

Abstract

Alpine fir( Abies lasiocarpa ( Hook ) Nutt. ) needles and cones were studied in natural stands to determine the variability of several traits such as needle length, width, stomatal distance in a row line on the abaxial surface, difference between cone scale and bract lengths, seed-wing areas, etc. Additional histological characteristics of needle, cone scale and bract are presented. Sixty-five stands, located on the West Coast of North America, were sampled. Continuous distribution of variable characteristics has not been found in the 65 stands. Correlation analysis shows that stomatal distance is directly associated with precipitation. Therefore, stomatal frequency increases with higher precipitation. Analysis of variance shows that the difference between cone scale and bract lengths is highly significant between the different stands. These differences indicate actual variations in the cone collection. Varieties and clines are suggested to exist in the natural range of alpine fir.

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