Morphological changeability of cones of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] in the Białowieża Fores
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In the frame of research conducted in the year 2003 on masting of spruce in the Białowieża Forest, spruce cones were collected from trees differentiated with regard to their age as well as growing sites located in deciduous and coniferous forest. The collection of cones was conducted in managed forests of the Białowieża Forest District. Before taking out seeds, the cones were divided into 5 sectors: cone base (p), zone over cone base (np), cone cen¬tral part (s), zone below cone-top (pw) and cone-top (w). This allowed evaluation of the size and shape of scales contained by cones. The results showed that the biggest cones were formed by spruces 60– 80 years old which were growing on deciduous sites. The longest scales were situated in the cone central part, and the widest were found in the zone over cone base. Differentiated size of cones and scales, situated in distinguished cone zones, can influence the speed of scale opening and the sequence of seed releasing. This can be applied in the process of harvesting of high quality seeds – necessary for the production of seedlings with the use of modern nursery technologies.
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