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Genetic analysis of Eucalyptus globulus diameter, straightness, branch size, and forking in Western Australia

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Abstract:

Eucalyptus globulus Labill. is increasingly considered for supply of solid-wood products such as sawlogs, yet genetic studies of solid-wood traits have been lacking. We estimated genetic parameters of growth and form traits that affect log value in full-sib families from two advanced-generation breeding populations on eight sites in Western Australia. Mean single-site heritability was 0.11 ± 0.01 for diameter at breast height (DBH), 0.28 ± 0.05 for stem straightness, 0.09 ± 0.02 for branch thickness, and 0.05 ± 0.02 for forking incidence. Dominance effects were significant (p < 0.05) at four sites for DBH and branch thickness and at three sites (one population) for straightness. Mean intersite additive genetic correlations were 0.76 ± 0.06 for DBH (n = 7), 0.75 ± 0.11 for stem straightness (n = 7), and 0.58 ± 0.07 for branch thickness (n = 4). Mean intersite dominance genetic correlations were 0.90 ± 0.04 for DBH (n = 7), 0.26 ± 0.27 (n = 4) for straightness, and 0.68 ± 0.11 for branch thickness (n = 3). Additive genetic correlations between DBH and straightness ranged from –0.71 ± 0.23 to 0.33 ± 0.19 with an average of –0.18 ± 0.12 (n = 8). Genetic correlations between DBH and branch thickness were mostly weak although straightness was generally associated with thinner branches (mean additive correlation 0.44 ± 0.15, n = 6). We conclude that prospects appear favourable for improving the solid-wood value of E. globulus by selection and breeding.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x11-036

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science, The University of Melbourne, Water Street, Creswick 3363, Australia. 2: Elders Forestry Limited, P.O. Box 1421, Albany WA 6331, Australia.

Publication date: June 26, 2011

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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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