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  • 1.
    Decker, Vicki Huizu
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology.
    Bandau, Franziska
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
    Gundale, Michael J.
    Cole, Christopher T.
    Albrectsen, Benedicte R.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
    Aspen phenylpropanoid genes’ expression levels correlate with genets’ tannin richness and vary both in responses to soil nitrogen and associations with phenolic profiles2017In: Tree Physiology, ISSN 0829-318X, E-ISSN 1758-4469, Vol. 37, no 2, p. 270-279Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Condensed tannin (CT) contents of European aspen (Populus tremula L.) vary among genotypes, and increases in nitrogen (N) availability generally reduce plants’ tannin production in favor of growth, through poorly understood mechanisms. We hypothesized that intrinsic tannin production rates may co-vary with gene expression responses to soil N and resource allocation within the phenylpropanoid pathway (PPP). Thus, we examined correlations between soil N levels and both expression patterns of eight PPP genes (measured by quantitative-reverse transcription PCR) and foliar phenolic compounds (measured by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry) in young aspen genets with intrinsically extreme CT levels. Monitored phenolics included salicinoids, lignins, flavones, flavonols, CT precursors and CTs. The PPP genes were consistently expressed more strongly in high-CT trees. Low N supplements reduced expression of genes throughout the PPP in all genets, while high N doses restored expression of genes at the beginning and end of the pathway. These PPP changes were not reflected in pools of tannin precursors, but varying correlations between gene expression and foliar phenolic pools were detected in young and mature leaves, suggesting that processes linking gene expression and the resulting phenolics vary spatially and temporally. Precursor fluxes suggested that CT-related metabolic rate or sink controls are linked to intrinsic carbon allocation strategies associated with N responses. Overall, we found more negative correlations (indicative of allocation trade-offs) between PPP gene expression and phenolic products following N additions in low-CT plants than in high-CT plants. The tannin-related expression dynamics suggest that, in addition to defense, relative tannin levels may also be indicative of intraspecific variations in the way aspen genets respond to soil fertility. 

  • 2. Franklin, Oskar
    et al.
    Johansson, Jacob
    Dewar, Roderick C.
    Dieckmann, Ulf
    McMurtrie, Ross E.
    Brännström, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Dybzinski, Ray
    Modeling carbon allocation in trees: a search for principles2012In: Tree Physiology, ISSN 0829-318X, E-ISSN 1758-4469, Vol. 32, no 6, p. 648-666Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We review approaches to predicting carbon and nitrogen allocation in forest models in terms of their underlying assumptions and their resulting strengths and limitations. Empirical and allometric methods are easily developed and computationally efficient, but lack the power of evolution-based approaches to explain and predict multifaceted effects of environmental variability and climate change. In evolution-based methods, allocation is usually determined by maximization of a fitness proxy, either in a fixed environment, which we call optimal response (OR) models, or including the feedback of an individual's strategy on its environment (game-theoretical optimization, GTO). Optimal response models can predict allocation in single trees and stands when there is significant competition only for one resource. Game-theoretical optimization can be used to account for additional dimensions of competition, e.g., when strong root competition boosts root allocation at the expense of wood production. However, we demonstrate that an OR model predicts similar allocation to a GTO model under the root-competitive conditions reported in free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) experiments. The most evolutionarily realistic approach is adaptive dynamics (AD) where the allocation strategy arises from eco-evolutionary dynamics of populations instead of a fitness proxy. We also discuss emerging entropy-based approaches that offer an alternative thermodynamic perspective on allocation, in which fitness proxies are replaced by entropy or entropy production. To help develop allocation models further, the value of wide-ranging datasets, such as FLUXNET, could be greatly enhanced by ancillary measurements of driving variables, such as water and soil nitrogen availability.

  • 3.
    Rani, Raffaele
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Abramowicz, Konrad
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Falster, Daniel S.
    Sterck, Frank
    Brännström, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. Evolution and Ecology Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria.
    Effects of bud-flushing strategies on tree growth2018In: Tree Physiology, ISSN 0829-318X, E-ISSN 1758-4469, Vol. 38, no 9, p. 1384-1393Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Allocation of carbohydrates between competing organs is fundamental to plant development, growth and productivity. Carbohydrates are synthesized in mature leaves and distributed via the phloem vasculature to developing buds where they are consumed to produce new biomass. The distribution and mass-allocation processes within the plant remain poorly understood and may involve complex feedbacks between different plant functions, with implications for the emergent structure of the plant. Here, we investigate how the order in which dormant buds are flushed affects the development of tree size and reproductive output during the first 20 years of growth in full light and shaded canopy environments. We report the following findings: (i) Bud-flushing strategies strongly affect the temporal dynamics of height, mass and the size of reproduction pool, as well as the resulting architectures. (ii) Bud-flushing strategies affect tree growth by altering the rate of growth and final size of trees. (iii) No single bud-flushing strategy performs best when both the size and allocation for reproduction of the resulting trees are compared. However, we observe that the strategy that optimizes the net carbon gain for the entire tree architecture always results in a high reproduction output. (iv) Branch turnover and meristem regeneration enhance the performance of certain strategies with respect to the measured quantities. These results highlight the importance of employing generic models of architecture (i.e., non-species-specific) to identify general mechanisms of carbon allocation and the spatial distribution of newly formed biomass in growing trees.

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