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Impact of Alternative Regeneration Methods on Genetic Diversity in Coastal Douglas-Fir

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Genetic implications of natural and artificial regeneration following three regeneration methods (group selection, shelterwood, and clearcut) were investigated in coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) using genetic markers (17 allozyme loci). In general, harvesting followed by either natural or artificial regeneration resulted in offspring populations little altered from those in the previous generation. Cutting the smallest trees to form shelterwoods, however, resulted in the removal of rare, presumably deleterious, alleles, such that slightly fewer alleles per locus were observed among residual trees (2.76) and natural regeneration (2.75) than found in uncut (control) stands (2.86). Thus, although the shelterwood regime appears quite compatible with gene conservation, it would be best to leave parent trees of a range of sizes in shelterwoods designated as gene conservation reserves, in order to maximize the number of alleles (regardless of current adaptive value) in naturally regenerated offspring. Seedling stocks used for artificial regeneration in clearcut, shelterwood, and group selection stands (7 total) had significantly greater levels of genetic diversity, on average, than found in natural regeneration. This is probably because the seeds used in artificial seedling stocks came from many wild stands and thus, sampled more diversity than found in single populations. For. Sci. 44(3): 390-396.

Keywords: Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco; allozymes; artificial reforestation; gene conservation; natural regeneration

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Senior Research Forester, USGS, Biological Resources Division, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, 3200 Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: August 1, 1998

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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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