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Ecological and biological information improves inferred paternity in a white spruce breeding orchard

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Biological, ecological, and genetic marker information was used to predict paternal (n F = 104) siring success for offspring (n O = 522) sampled over two years from two mother clones. Distance alone was predictive of siring success, whereas fecundity and a provenance indicator variable captured additional, but not all, remaining variation. Using additional nongenetic measures to predict siring success increased individual probabilities of paternity over a genetic-only model. Reproductive success of males was highly skewed, and not all successful males were consistently successful over years. Overall rate of selfing was 14% in the surviving (56%–63%) seedlings. The estimated number of (unsampled) sires outside of the seed orchard was highly variable, resulting in unassigned seed orchard fathers for 6% of the sampled progeny. Some benefits and limitations of using full-likelihood paternity analyses are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


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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