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Notes: Variation in Growth of Red Alder Families in Relation to Shallow Water Table Levels

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Growth of 24 Alnus rubra Bong. families was studied on wet microsites within a 5-year-old progeny trial in western Washington to evaluate variation in response to waterlogged soil. Depth to water table varied from 0 to 30 cm and was determined by depth of rusting on steel rods placed in the soil near each tree. By plotting the data and use of correlation matrices and regression analyses, tree height was found to be related to water table level. Eighteen families had a linear and 6 families a curvilinear relationship between height and water table level. Analysis of covariance, with water table as the covariate, showed that family slope coefficients were heterogeneous, hence families varied in height response to water table level. Several families showed no change in height across the water table level range (30 to 0 cm), but the most sensitive families showed more than a 50% decrease in height across this range. The results suggest that growth of red alder on wet sites may be enhanced by selection and propagation of progeny tolerant of waterlogging. For. Sci. 33(1):224-229.
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Keywords: Alnus rubra; genetic variation; reduced soils; saturated soils; waterlogged soils; waterlogging tolerance

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Geneticist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA 98502

Publication date: 1987-03-01

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