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Phenology of Reproductive Cycles and Quality of Conifer Seeds (Pinaceae, Cupressaceae) in the Northern Taiga. P. 355–367

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Section: Biology




Mikhail V. Surso*
*Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research named after academician N.P. Laverov, Russian Academy of Sciences (Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation)
Corresponding author: Mikhail Surso, address: Naberezhnaya Severnoy Dviny, 23, Arkhangelsk, 163000, Russian Federation; e-mail:


Microphenology of reproductive cycles of pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst. × P. obovata Ledeb.), larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) and juniper (Juniperus communis L.) is studied by light microscopy methods in the northern taiga. The paper presents the results of long-term observations of the pheno-rhythmic development of female reproductive structures and embryogenesis of conifers. Disorders in morphogenesis of reproductive structures are revealed and described. The contribution of these disorders to the overall structure of the seed yield and their influence on the seeds quality are estimated. We demonstrate the role of pollination conditions in the formation of the coniferous seed yield formula by the example of pine and larch. Potential seed production and seed ratio by quality categories in the total yield structure of species, population and each individual tree are determined by a large number of factors and vary greatly. Pollination is one of the most important factors in the formation of the structure of yields of coniferous species. The absence of pollination and pollination with unviable pollen leads to the destructive development of ovules in the early stages in most species. This is one of the reasons for the formation of abortive seeds. The low energy growth of pollen tubes, the sterility of the male gametophyte, and the death of embryos in early embryogenesis leads to necrosis of ovules at the later stages of their development, resulting in the formation of “empty” seeds. It is suggested that juniper has the highest adaptive capacity for reproduction in the European North of Russia. The reproductive cycle of pine is less than all among the studied species adapted to the cold climate.


northern taiga, conifers, reproductive structure, pheno-rhythmics, seed quality, seed yield formula, pollination conditions
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