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Alan T. Whittemore and Alden M. Townsend

Artificial cross-pollinations were carried out among seven species of Celtis L. (C. bungeana Blume, C. koraiensis Nakai, C. laevigata Willd., C. occidentalis L., C. reticulata Torr., C. sinensis Pers., and C. tenuifolia Nutt.) to test the potential for interspecific hybridization in Celtis breeding. AFLP profiles were used to assess the ancestry of progeny. Hybrids formed very rarely among these seven species of Celtis: only two interspecific hybrids were obtained. Self-pollination occurred occasionally in non-emasculated trees. AFLP analysis yielded false paternal markers at a very low frequency, likely due to DNA methylation differences. Plants with unexpected paternal markers were confidently distinguished from hybrids by calculating the probability of obtaining the observed number of paternal markers by chance. The study clearly demonstrated the importance of using large numbers of markers.

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Jo-Ann Bentz and Alden M. Townsend

A survey was conducted in the 2001 growing season to determine the leafhopper species composition, abundance, richness, diversity, and evenness among trees of three elm (Ulmus sp.) cultivars, two U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) seedling selections of U. szechuanica Fang, and two USNA seedling selections of U. bergmanniana Schneid. in a mixed stand. Yellow sticky traps were used to qualify and quantify the number of aerial leafhoppers from 1 May 2001 until 4 September 2001. A total of 4,523 individuals, belonging to 39 species within seven leafhopper subfamilies, were trapped. The weekly mean number of leafhoppers collected was significantly higher on traps from `Patriot', followed by `Frontier' and `Prospector', than on traps from the USNA seedling selections. Although the weekly mean species richness for `Prospector' was lower than the other two cultivars, the three cultivars had higher mean species richness than the USNA seedling selections of U. szechuanica and U. bergmanniana. Diversity among cultivars was higher than among the USNA seedling selections. Ulmus bergmanniana 68983 and U. szechuanica 68986 shared the highest percentage of species similarity, while `Frontier' and U. szechuanica 68991 were the most dissimilar. Of the species collected, Agallia quadripunctata, Empoasca fabae and Graphocephala versuta were the most abundant. The other species were mostly rare based on their low abundance. Scaphoideus luteolus, the only confirmed vector of elm yellows in North America, was found among the elm cultivars only. Yet, the Cicadellinae leafhoppers that are vectors of Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of bacterial leaf scorch, were found among both the cultivars and USNA seedling selections. Such data could allow for the screening and selection of elms resistant to economically important leafhoppers.

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Jo-Ann Bentz and Alden M. Townsend

The suitability of container-grown clones of red maple, Acer rubrum L., as a host to the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae Harris (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), under different fertilization regimes was determined, and compared to different freeman maple cultivars (A. ×freemanii E. Murray). Three clonal selections of red maple (USNA numbers 56026, 59904, and 55410), and three freeman maple cultivars (55892 `Indian Summer', 67256 `Jeffersred' [trademark Autumn Blaze], and 55890 `Armstrong') were potted in 7.6-L containers, fertilized with either 0, 3.3, or 6.6 g/pot of calcium nitrate and used in experiments. When given a choice, female leafhoppers laid more eggs on leaves of red maple clone 56026 than on leaves of clone 59904, with oviposition linearly increasing on both clones with increases in the fertilization level applied to the trees. Yet, when female leafhoppers were confined to leaves using organza sleeve cages, oviposition increased linearly as fertilizer level increased, without a significant clonal effect. Oviposition did not differ among freeman maple cultivars, nor was it influenced by the fertilizer level applied to the freeman maple trees. Nymphs had the lowest odds of surviving to adulthood when reared on the freeman maple `Jeffersred', but highest when reared on red maple 59904. Red maple 59904 had the fastest growth rate while red maple 55410 had the slowest. Leaf initiation and expansion in red maple 56026 was significantly slower than in the other selections. Leaf development of these three red maple clones was significantly accelerated by the application of fertilizer, regardless of level. The maple selections differed in their mean amounts of foliar macronutrients and micronutrients, which related to the fertilizer level applied to trees. Unfertilized trees had the highest C to N ratio, which decreased as fertilizer level applied to trees was increased. This study showed that fertilization improved the performance of the potato leafhopper on previously nonpreferred maple selections, and that the foliar nutrient content and C to N ratio could be used as indicators of tree susceptibility to insect attack under different growing conditions.

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Hongyi Zhang, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

Single-node cuttings of `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer' red maple (Acer rubrum L. and A. × freemanii E. Murray) were placed in subirrigated perlite that was kept at 29, 33, or 36 C at the cut ends for 3 weeks. Number and mass of roots and pigment quality and transpiration of leaves were greater for `Autumn Flame' than `Indian Summer' and decreased with increasing temperature for both cultivars. Rooting percentage at 29, 33, and 36 C was 75, 75, and 25 for `Autumn Flame' and 13, 13, and 0 for `Indian Summer'. Earlier work has shown > 90% of cuttings of both cultivars root at ≈ 22 C, and plants of `Autumn Flame' are more heat resistant than those of `Indian Summer'. Results of this experiment suggest the effect of heat on rooting of cuttings might be used to predict genotypic differences in heat resistance of whole plants.

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Lorna C. Wilkins, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

Use of cultivars resistant to high soil temperature could improve the performance of urban trees. The objective of this project was to examine selections of red maple (Acer rubrum L. and A. x freemanii E. Murray) for genotypic differences in resistance to root-zone heat stress. Development of roots and shoots from rooted single-node cuttings of seven genotypes grown in solution culture was optimal at about 28C. Shoot extension stopped within 3 weeks and terminal buds formed on plants of all genotypes at 36C. In a second experiment, the influence of 34C root-zone temperature on development varied significantly among six genotypes. Formation of terminal buds at 34C was observed only on plants of cv. Morgan and cv. Red Sunset. The reduction in new dry matter at 34C compared to plants at 28C ranged from 21% for cv. Schlesinger to 69% for cv. Morgan. We conclude that genotypes of red maple differ in resistance to high root-zone temperature.

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Lorna C. Wilkins, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

Six red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and four Freeman maple (A. ×freemanii E. Murray) cultivars were compared for rooting of single-node stem cuttings and subsequent development of rooted cuttings. Cuttings were taken in May 1990 and 1991 and treated with either 3 or 8 g IBA/kg. Rooting after 4 weeks differed among cultivars, ranging from 22% for `Karpick' to 100% for `Schlesinger' over both years. Rooting scores, based on root counts and lengths, were highest for `Schlesinger' and lowest for `Scarlet Sentinel' and `Karpick'. IBA at 8 g·kg–1 resulted in better rooting than at 3 g·kg–1. Mean length of shoots formed on potted rooted cuttings was 22.6 cm for `Franksred', which initiated shoots on 100% of the cuttings that rooted. In contrast, <50% of `Armstrong', `Jeffersred', `Karpick', `Northwood', and `Scarlet Sentinel' rooted cuttings initiated shoots, and mean length of new shoots was <4 cm for these cultivars. The amount of leaf desiccation that occurred after removing cuttings from the propagation bench varied among cultivars, and the percentage of viable leaf surface area correlated positively with final root or shoot dry mass for all cultivars. Chemical name used: indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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Hongyi Zhang, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

We determined transpiration rate, survival, and rooting of unmisted, softwood cuttings of `Autumn Flame' red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and `Indian Summer' Freeman maple (Acer ×freemanii E. Murray). Effects of perlite at 24, 30, and 33 °C were assessed to determine whether responses of cuttings would be consistent with cultivar differences in resistance to root-zone heat previously shown with whole plants. During 7 d, cutting fresh mass increased by ≈20% at all temperatures for `Autumn Flame' red maple, but fresh mass of `Indian Summer' Freeman maple decreased by 17% and 21% at 30 and 33 °C, respectively. The percentage of cuttings of `Indian Summer' that were alive decreased over time and with increasing temperature. Transpiration rate decreased during the first half of the treatment period and then increased to ≈1.1 and 0.3 mmol·m-2·s-1 for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer', respectively. Mean rooting percentages over temperatures for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer' were 69 % and 16%, respectively. Mean rooting percentages at 24, 30, and 33 °C over both cultivars were 74%, 29%, and 25%, respectively. Over temperatures, mean root count per cutting was 41 and seven, and mean root dry mass per cutting was 4.9 and 0.4 mg, for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer', respectively. Use of subirrigation without mist to root stem cuttings was more successful for `Autumn Flame' than for `Indian Summer'. Temperature × cultivar interactions for cutting fresh mass and the percentage of cuttings remaining alive during treatment were consistent with previous evidence that whole plants of `Autumn Flame' are more heat resistant than plants of `Indian Summer'. Mass and survival of stem cuttings during propagation in heated rooting medium may serve as tools for screening for whole-plant heat resistance among maple genotypes.

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James A. Zwack, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

Freeman maples (Acer × freemanii E. Murray) are marketed as stress-resistant alternatives to red maples (Acer rubrum L.), but few data from direct comparisons of these species are available. As a first step in comparing the stress resistance of red maple and Freeman maple, responses to drought were studied in Acer × freemanii `Autumn Fantasy', `Celebration', and `Marmo'. Plants grown from rooted cuttings were treated by withholding irrigation through four drought cycles of increasing severity that were separated by irrigation to container capacity. Drought reduced shoot dry mass, root dry mass, and height growth by 64%, 43%, and 79%, respectively, over all cultivars. Predawn leaf water potential was reduced by 1.16 MPa over all cultivars, and stomatal conductance data indicated water use was more conservative over all root-zone moisture contents after repeated cycles of drought. Specific mass of drought-stressed leaves increased by 25% for `Autumn Fantasy', and microscopy to determine leaf thickness and cellular anatomy is ongoing. `Autumn Fantasy' also had the lowest ratio of leaf surface area to xylem diameter, and `Autumn Fantasy' and `Celebration' had higher ratios of root to shoot mass than `Marmo'. Pressure-volume curve analysis revealed osmotic potential of drought-stressed plants at full turgor was 0.24 MPa more negative than controls, and droughted plants had a greater apoplastic water percentage than controls. Although osmotic adjustment during drought was similar among cultivars, differences in specific mass of leaves and in ratios of transpiring and conducting tissues suggest cultivars of Freeman maple vary in resistance to drought in the landscape.

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James A. Zwack, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

We compared two putative Freeman maples [`Jeffersred', (Autumn Blaze ®) and `Indian Summer'] and five red maples [`Franksred' (Red Sunset ®), `Autumn Flame', `PNI 0268' (October Glory®), `Fairview Flame', and unnamed selection 59904] for effects of flooding on stomatal conductance. A method for quantifying changes in leaf color that occurred on flooded plants also was developed. Potted plants grown from rooted cuttings in a greenhouse were subjected to 75 days of root-zone inundation (flood treatment) or were irrigated frequently (control treatment). Across genotypes, stomatal conductance of flooded plants initially increased by about 20% and then fell to and was sustained below 50 mmol·s–1·m–2. Stomatal conductance of flooded plants of `Indian Summer' decreased to 20 mmo·s–1·m–2 after 8 days of inundation, and two of three flooded `Indian Summer' plants died during treatment. Other genotypes required at least twice this time to display a similar reduction in stomatal conductance, indicating `Indian Summer' may be particularly flood sensitive. Intensities of red, green, and blue color at a consistent interveinal position were analyzed with Visilog software by using scanned leaf images of the youngest fully expanded leaf of each plant in both treatments. A genotype × irrigation interaction existed for the ratio of green to red intensity. This method provided numerical data that corresponded well to differences among genotypes we observed visually. For example, while flooding did not alter the color of `Autumn Flame' leaves, the ratio of green to red was three times greater for controls of Autumn Blaze® than for the flooded plants of this cultivar.

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James A. Zwack, William R. Graves and Alden M. Townsend

Freeman maples (Ace×freemanii E. Murray) are marketed as stress-resistant alternatives to red maples (Acer rubrum L.). Our objective was to compare two cultivars of Freeman maple [`Jeffersred' (Autumn Blaze®) and `Indian Summer'] and five red maples [`Franksred' (Red Sunset®), `Autumn Flame', `PNI 0268' (October Glory®), `Fairview Flame', and unnamed selection 59904] for effects of flooding and water deficit on plant growth, biomass partitioning, stomatal conductance, and leaf osmotic potential. Plants grown from rooted cuttings in containers were subjected to three consecutive cycles during which root-zone water content decreased to 0.12, 0.08, and 0.02 m3·m–3, respectively. Additional plants were flooded for 75 days, while plants in a control treatment were irrigated frequently. Stomatal conductance immediately before imposing drought and after three drought cycles did not differ among genotypes and averaged 220 and 26 mmol·s–1·m–2, respectively. Differences in stomatal conductance after recovery from the first drought cycle and at the end of the second drought cycle did not vary with species. Drought reduced estimated leaf osmotic potential similarly for all genotypes; means for drought-stressed and control plants were –1.92 and –1.16 MPa, respectively. Freeman maples had a higher mean root: shoot weight ratio and a lower leaf surface area: root dryweight ratio than did red maples. Across genotypes, stomatal conductance of flooded plants initially increased by ≈20% and then fell to and remained below 50 mmol·s–1·m–2. Stomatal conductance of `Indian Summer' decreased to ≈20 mmol·s–1·m–2 after 8 days of flooding, indicating that this cultivar may be particularly sensitive to root-zone saturation.