Five-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings were subjected to three simulated growing seasons in controlled environment chambers. Plants were acclimated to a soil temperature of 16°C during the first and third growing seasons, but were allocated at random to soil temperature treatments of 9, 13, 18 and 21°C during the second growing season. Low soil temperature during the second growing season depressed stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate (A) per unit of projected leaf area, although intercellular CO2 concentrations did not differ significantly between treatments. At all soil temperatures, total chlorophyll concentration first decreased and then increased, although the rate of increase and the final concentration increased with soil temperature, which may explain the effect of soil temperature on A. Neither chlorophyll a/b ratio nor leaf nitrogen concentration was significantly affected by soil temperature. Treatment differences disappeared during the third simulated growing season when plants were again acclimated to a soil temperature of 16°C.
Lahti, M., Aphalo, P. J., Finér, L., Lehto, T., Leinonen, I., Mannerkoski, H., & Ryyppö, A. (2002). Soil temperature, gas exchange and nitrogen status of 5-year-old Norway spruce seedlings. Tree Physiology, 22(18), 1311–1316. https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/22.18.1311