Publication Details

Yellow birch: guidance for seed transfer within the Northeastern United States

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Pike, Carolyn C.; Kern, Christel C.

Year Published

2022

Publication

Tree Planters' Notes. 65(1): 69-75.

Abstract

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) is a small-seeded hardwood tree native to forests across northeastern North America. Genetic diversity of this species is high due to high levels of seed dispersal and pollen flow, though few parameters that describe gene flow have been reported. Yellow birch is capable of hybridizing with other Betula species. Common garden studies revealed relatively weak clines for growth traits but strong variation in phenological traits, indicating that seed transfer may be deleterious if seed is moved long distances. No empirical transfer distances have been suggested, but distances of 200 mi (322 km), or roughly 3 degrees latitude northward, is a safe recommend distance to avoid phenological mismatches. Widespread yellow birch decline has been described in Canada and attributed to climatic perturbations. Few major pests impact yellow birch except for decay fungi in decadent (overmature) stands. Yellow birch is likely to persist with climate change in its current range because of its high genetic diversity and gene flow.

Citation

Pike, Carolyn C.; Kern, Christel C. 2022. Yellow birch: guidance for seed transfer within the Northeastern United States. Tree Planters' Notes. 65(1): 69-75.

Last updated on: September 13, 2022