Download the full-sized PDF of Adaptation of trembling aspen and hybrid poplars to frost and drought: implications for selection and movement of planting stock in western CanadaDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Adaptation of trembling aspen and hybrid poplars to frost and drought: implications for selection and movement of planting stock in western Canada Open Access


Other title
leaf senescence
hybrid poplar
seed transfer
cold hardiness
bud break
freezing-induced embolism
vessel diameter
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schreiber, Stefan Georg
Supervisor and department
Hamann, Andreas (Renewable Resources)
Hacke, Uwe (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Yang, Rong-Cai (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)
Thomas, Barb (Renewable Resources)
Hogg, Ted (Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton AB)
Guy, Rob (Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia)
Lieffers, Vic (Renewable Resources)
Department of Renewable Resources
Forest biology and management
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This study contains a series of experiments to evaluate growth performance and survival of hybrid poplars (Populus spp.) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in boreal planting environments in western Canada. Ecophysiological traits related to drought resistance and winter survival were studied and compared with growth in long-term field trials, within and between these two plant groups. The results showed that trembling aspen is more resistant to drought stress and more water-use efficient than hybrid poplars, suggesting that these two groups employ different water-use strategies. Tree height was negatively correlated with branch vessel diameter in both plant groups and was highly conserved in aspen trees from different geographic origins. Hybrid poplars with wider xylem vessel were also more prone to freezing-induced embolism, suggesting that smaller vessel diameters may be an essential adaptive trait to ensure frost tolerance and long-term productivity of hybrid poplar plantations in boreal planting environments. For aspen, provenances ranging from northeast British Columbia to Minnesota were tested in a series of reciprocal transplant experiments across western Canada. The analysis found pronounced increases in productivity as a result of long-distance transfers in northwest direction. Commonly reported trade-offs between freezing tolerance and growth rate were not found in this study. Seed transferred from Minnesota to northeast British Columbia (2,300 km northeast and 11° latitude north), still outperformed local sources by 17 % in height had more than twice the biomass at age ten. Increased productivity as a result of northwest transfers was not associated with reduced survival. The results suggest that the potential benefits of northward movement of aspen populations in forestry operations outweigh the potential risks, especially in the context of climate change.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Schreiber, S.G., Hacke, U.G., Hamann, A. & Thomas, B.R. 2011. Genetic variation of hydraulic and wood anatomical traits in hybrid poplar and trembling aspen. New Phytologist, 190: 150-160.Schreiber, S.G., Hamann, A., Hacke, U.G. & Thomas, B.R. 2012 (in press). Sixteen years of winter stress: an assessment of cold hardiness, growth performance and survival of hybrid poplar clones at a boreal planting site. Plant, Cell & Environment. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02583.x

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 4156144
Last modified: 2015:10:12 11:35:27-06:00
Filename: Schreiber_Stefan_Fall 2012.pdf
Original checksum: 12ee5338e6a055877783d3555ba056fd
Well formed: false
Valid: false
Status message: No document catalog dictionary offset=0
File title: An ecophysiological assessment of trembling aspen and hybrid poplars with respect to future climate change
File author: Stefan Schreiber
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date