Letter | Published:

Survival of Woody Plants at Extremely Low Temperatures

Naturevolume 187page1133 (1960) | Download Citation



THEBE are a number of things that should be pointed out in connexion with the communication by A. Sakai1. Various kinds of plant material have been cooled to these temperatures and even lower, yet they have survived2–4. My own work5 revealed that leaves of Pinus strobus could be cooled to −90° C. in winter without apparent damage, and it was later shown that leaves of this same species could be cooled to −189° C. without damage as indicated by the tetrazolium test made several days after treatment6,7. Recently I have cooled buds of various deciduous trees to −80° C. at the rate of cooling and warming indicated in Table 1, and although some survived, others did not.

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  1. 1

    Sakai, A., Nature, 183, 393 (1960).

  2. 2

    Luyet, B. J., 8eme Cong. Int. de Bot., Sec. 11 and 12, 259 (1954).

  3. 3

    Becquerel, P., 8eme Cong. Int. de Bot., Sec. 11 and 12, 269 (1954).

  4. 4

    Sun, C. N., Bot. Gaz., 119, 239 (1958).

  5. 5

    Parker, J., For. Sci., 5, 56 (1959).

  6. 6

    Parker, J., Ninth Int. Bot. Congress, 2, 295 (1959).

  7. 7

    Parker, J., Bot. Gaz., 121, 46 (1959).

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  1. Greeley Memorial Laboratory, Yale University School of Forestry, New Haven, Connecticut



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