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Differentiation and Non-Linear Responses in Temporal Phenotypic Plasticity of Seasonal Phenophases in a Common Garden of <em>Crataegus monogyna</em> Jacq.

Vander Mijnsbrugge, Kristine, Janssens, Astrid
Forests 2019 v.10 no.4
Crataegus monogyna, altitude, autocorrelation, flowering, latitude, leaf abscission, leaves, models, perennials, phenology, phenotypic plasticity, provenance, spring, temperature, woody plants, Belgium
Phenology in perennial plants implies the temporal occurrence of biological events throughout the year. Heritable phenotypic plasticity in the timing of the phenophases can be of importance in the adaptation of woody species to a quickly changing environment. We observed the timing of bud burst, flower opening, leaf senescence and leaf fall in two successive years in a common garden of Crataegus monogyna Jacq. in Belgium, consisting of six local and five non-local provenances. Data were processed with cumulative logistic mixed models. Strong auto-correlation was present among the spring phenophases as well as among the autumnal phenophases, with spring phenophases being negatively correlated with fall phenophases. The strongest between-provenance differentiation was found for the timing of bud burst in spring, followed by flower opening and finally by leaf senescence and leaf fall. Warmer spring temperatures in March 2017 advanced the timing of bud burst, and to a lesser extent of flower opening, in all provenances compared to 2016. However, the advancement was non-linear among the provenances, with the lower latitude provenances being relatively less early and the higher elevation provenances being more late than the local provenances in this year. It can be hypothesized that non-local provenances display larger temporal phenotypic plastic responses in the timing of their spring phenophases compared to local provenances when temperatures in the common garden deviate more from their home-sites.