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Genetic Improvement Effects on Growth and Yield of Loblolly Pine Plantations

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A series of hypotheses concerning stand dynamics and growth patterns in loblolly pine plantations of improved stock relative to plantations of unimproved stock were developed and tested. Results of these tests indicated that at the seed source and family levels: (1) the shape of the height-age curve is influenced by the site, but the level of the height-age curve is influenced by the seed source or family; (2) at the seed source and family levels, the shape of the height-diameter relationship at a given age is influenced by the site and by the initial density; and (3) the level of the height-diameter relationship is affected by the seed source or family and is directly related to the dominant height of the seed source or family at that age. Indications are that by choosing the height curve carefully, differences in development among seed sources and families on a given site can be modeled by altering the level of the height-age curve. Data from temporary plots in stands planted operationally with genetically improved stock were used to test for differences in stem quality and volume relationships as compared to comparable plots from unimproved plantations. Stem quality in the improved stands was not substantially different than in unimproved stands in the same region and of the same age range. There was no difference in stem taper or individual tree volume between improved and unimproved stock. Yield equations, based on the independent variables age, average height of dominants and codominants, and surviving number of trees, were fitted to these same plot data from operationally planted improved and unimproved stands. There were no significant differences in the yield equations, indicating that a single yield equation should suffice when the independent variables are correctly specified. For. Sci. 33(3):707-724.

Keywords: Pinus taeda; modeling; tree improvement

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Thomas M. Brooks Professor of Forest Biometrics, School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Publication date: September 1, 1987

More about this publication?
  • 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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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