Early Growth of Sugar Pine from an Elevational Transect

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To evaluate genetic differentiation in sugar pine on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, seed was collected from four trees per stand at five separate elevations and sown in a nursery within the transect sampled. Seedling growth after 2 and 3 years varied markedly with the seed parent and elevation of the parent stand. Families with most rapid growth originated at the lower elevations and those with slowest growth at the highest elevation. Stem volume was five times greater in families from 1,095 m than in families from 2,195 m. The results indicate strong adaptation to the environmental gradients that characterize the western slope, suggest that sugar pine of local origin should be used for planting at any particular elevation, and indicate substantial opportunities to select for rapid growth among families and parents within local stands. Forest Sci. 29:660-669.

Keywords: Pinus lambertiana; climatic adaptation; genetic variation; lammas growth; seedling growth

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Geneticist, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, CA 94701

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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