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Xylem Ethylene Production in Five Black Walnut Families in the Early Stages of Heartwood Formation

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Rates of ethylene production in vitro during the early dormant period were determined for the outer, middle, and inner sapwood of five 9-year-old open-pollinated families of black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) in two plantations (Union County and Jackson County) in southern Illinois. All trees were in the early stages of heartwood formation. Within each plantation the only factor associated with a significant difference in ethylene production was the region of sapwood--ethylene production increased with distance from the heartwood boundary. Family differences in ethylene production were not significant in either plantation, and family rankings were dissimilar for the two plantations. The absence of a family effect on the rate of xylem ethylene production indicates this physiological parameter may not be useful in early selection of walnut genotypes for heartwood/sapwood proportions. However, further research on genetic variation in ethylene production is needed. The two plantations were very different in xylem ethylene production--Union County trees had ethylene production rates 1.6 to 3.6 times that of the Jackson County trees which reflects a probable strong influence of growth environment on ethylene production. The effect of environment, including site factors and cultural conditions, on xylem ethylene levels and on heartwood/sapwood ratios is a promising area for further study. Forest Sci. 27:537-543.
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Keywords: Early selection; Genotype; Juglans nigra; Plantations; Sapwood

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Wood Scientist, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Rhinelander, WI 54501

Publication date: 1981-09-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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