Crown conductance in dwarf, medium, and tall pitch pines in the Long Island Pine Plains

D. W. Vanderklein, K. V.R. Schäfer, J. Martinez-Vilalta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The New York Pine Plains are a unique ecosystem with normal statured and a dwarfed variety of pitch pines (Pinus rigida Mill.). Growing interspersed with the dwarf pines are trees of intermediate height and features. Several hypotheses have been put forward as to why some of the trees are dwarfed, but none have been substantiated. In this study, we tested whether dwarf or medium trees are hydraulically limited compared to normally growing trees. Granier style sap flux sensors were installed in three to six trees of each tree type and sap flux was measured in early August 2004. Sap flux measurements were scaled to crown stomatal conductance using leaf area to sapwood area ratios for each tree. Contrary to expectation, dwarf and medium stature trees had very low leaf area to sapwood area ratios, but high crown stomatal conductances compared to normal trees. Analyses of leaf area, ring widths, and crown stomatal conductance indicate that differences between normal, and dwarf and medium pines are not due to hydraulic limitation, but that stunted growth may be due to other causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1625
Number of pages9
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Crown conductance
  • Dwarf pine
  • Pitch pine
  • Sap flow
  • Stunted growth


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