Effects of bud-flushing strategies on tree growth

Raffaele Rani*, Konrad Abramowicz, Daniel S. Falster, Frank Sterck, Åke Brännström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1384-1393
JournalTree Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of bud-flushing strategies on tree growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this