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Comparison of early height growth between white spruce seedlings and rooted cuttings

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Abstract:

Early height growth of eastern white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) rooted cuttings was compared with that of seedlings using annual measurements collected over 5 years in a farm field test replicated on three sites. The experiment included 148 full-sib families obtained from controlled crossings of superior trees selected for a white spruce breeding population in Quebec. Fifteen additional seedlots were used as controls. The average growth rate of seedlings (37.3 cm·year–1) was slightly larger than that of rooted cuttings (36.2 cm·year–1). The yearly growth rate increased over the test period, and it did so at a somewhat higher rate for the seedlings. The relative size of the estimated variance components and the moderate rank correlations of full-sib family height growth features between the two propagule types suggest that tree breeders should favour seedlings over rooted cuttings to rank families for selection purposes, but vegetative propagation would prove useful for bulking up scarce valuable genotypes.

La croissance juvénile en hauteur de boutures racinées d'épinette blanche (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) a été comparée à celle de semis à l'aide de mesures annuelles collectées pendant cinq ans dans un essai au champ répété dans trois stations. L'expérience incluait 148 descendances biparentales obtenues par des croisements contrôlés d'arbres supérieurs choisis pour établir une population en sélection d'épinette blanche au Québec. Quinze lots additionnels de graines ont été utilisés comme témoins. Le taux moyen de croissance des semis (37,3 cm·an–1) était légèrement plus élevé que celui des boutures racinées (36,2 cm·an–1). Le taux annuel de croissance a augmenté pendant la période d'essai et il a davantage augmenté chez les semis. La taille relative des composantes estimées de la variance et les corrélations de rang modérées entre les deux types de propagules, quant aux caractéristiques de la croissance en hauteur des descendances biparentales, indiquent que les améliorateurs devraient favoriser les semis plutôt que les boutures racinées pour classer les descendances à des fins de sélection. Par contre, la propagation végétative peut s'avérer utile pour augmenter le matériel dans le cas de génotypes rares qui ont une valeur particulière.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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