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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-08-02 14:29 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-08-02 15:39 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-08-02 15:39 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Long-distance pine pollen still germinates after meso-scale dispersal
Claire G. Williams
Author’s contact information
Forest History Society and NESCent,
William Vickers Avenue,
Durham, North Carolina 27701 USA

E-mail: claire-williams@fulbrightmail.org,
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Viability of long-distance pollen links ecological models to the genetic structure of forest tree populations, determining how forests will adapt to climate change and how far genes flow from genetically modified (GM) pine plantations. Addressing this landscape-scale inquiry is feasible when the pollen source, the delivery system, and the receiver field can be made explicit. To this end, I measured long-distance pollen germination along a 160-km transect along the North Carolina coastline, including 45000 ha of mature Pinus taeda plantations and barrier islands. Using this system, I tested three hypotheses: (1) pine pollen germinates after dispersal on meso-scale distances, (2) sodium chloride exposure reduces germination of pollen captured over open saltwater, and (3) viable pine pollen is present at high altitudes before local peak pollen shed. The experimental findings are as follows: pine pollen had germination rates of 2 to 57% after dispersal at distances from 3 to 41 km, sodium chloride solutions mildly reduced P. taeda pollen germination, and viable pine pollen grains were captured at an altitude of 610 m. GM pine plantings thus have a potential to disperse viable pollen at least 41 km from the source. Wind and rainfall, as integral parts of regional atmospheric systems, together exert a powerful influence on the genetic structure of forest tree populations.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Publisher and its location
Botanical Society of America
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
© 2010 Botanical Society of America
10 page PDF
American Journal of Botany 97(5): 846-855. 2010.
Keywords and any other relevant information
Key words: aerosols; climate change; conifer reproductive biology; genetically modifi ed (GM) forest trees; heterospory; long-distance dispersal; male gametophyte; North Carolina; Pinaceae;  Pinus taeda ; U.S. Forest Health Initiative
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