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Genetic improvement for pulpwood and peeled veneer in Eucalyptus nitens

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Genetic improvement of wood properties affecting the quality of pulpwood and peeled veneer products is of general interest to tree breeders worldwide. If the wood properties of Eucalyptus nitens (H. Deane & Maiden) Maiden are under genetic control and the correlations between them are favourable, it may be possible to breed to simultaneously improve the plantation resource for both products. Acoustic wave velocity (AWV) measured in standing trees can predict wood stiffness, basic density, and kraft pulp yield (KPY) and therefore has the potential for use in tree breeding programs. From an E. nitens progeny trial in Tasmania, 540 trees were selected for rotary peeling. Of the wood properties assessed, there were significant differences among races in diameter, stem straightness, standing-tree, log, and billet AWV, and near infrared predicted cellulose content (CC). All traits displayed significant within-race genetic variation, and genetic correlations between AWV and veneer sheet modulus of elasticity (MOE) and between AWV and KPY and CC were strongly positive and highly significant. A similar relationship was found between veneer sheet MOE and KPY and between diameter at breast height and veneer sheet MOE. Basic density was genetically correlated with AWV and veneer sheet MOE. Results indicate that it should be possible for breeders to simultaneously improve properties in pulpwood and peeled veneer products and that AWV measured in the standing tree shows promise as a breeding selection criterion for both pulpwood and peeled veneer products.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7000 Australia. 2: CRC for Forestry, Private Bag 12, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 Australia.

Publication date: 2012-09-17

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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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