Leaf area – sapwood area relationship in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) under mistletoe (Viscum album ssp. austriacum) infection

Creative Commons License

Bilgili E. , Coşkuner K. A. , Öztürk M.

Dendrobiology, vol.84, pp.1-11, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 84
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.12657/denbio.084.001
  • Title of Journal : Dendrobiology
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11


Leaf area is linearly correlated with sapwood area in trees. The linearity of this relationship can be affected by some biotic and abiotic factors. Mistletoes are hemi parasitic plants that take up water and mineral nutrients from their hosts and affect host physiological responses. There is no conclusive evidence to show the effect of pine mistletoe (Viscum album ssp. austriacum) on leaf area and sapwood area relationship in Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L.) at tree level. The aim of this study is to determine and quantify the effect of pine mistletoe on the structural variation of leaf area and sapwood area relationship at tree level in Scots pine. A total of 18 mistletoe infected and 12 uninfected Scots pine trees were destructively sampled. All needles and mistletoes were completely removed from sampled trees to determine needle and mistletoe characteristics, biomass and leaf area. Sapwood areas at breast height (BH) and at crown base height (CBH) were determined from wood discs taken from BH (1.3m) and CBH. Sapwood area was delineated by benzidine staining method. Pearson correlation, t-test and regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between sapwood area and needle-mistletoe leaf area relationships. The results indicated that both the relationships between sapwood area and leaf area in uninfected, and sapwood area and total leaf area (needle plus mistletoe leaf only) in infected trees were linear. However, the slope of regression equation for mistletoe infected trees was considerably lower when compared to the uninfected trees. As for the variation of the sapwood area along the stem below live crown, there was a slight difference between sapwood area at BH and CBH. The study showed also that mistletoe infection led to a significant reduction in needle size (length, width, area and weight) in Scots pine trees. Significant relationships were found between the sapwood area and leaf area in this study. The results of this study may help fill the gap in the knowledge concerning the impacts of pine mistletoe on the dynamics of Scots pine trees.