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Ideotype Development in Southern Pines: Rationale and Strategies for Overcoming Scale-Related Obstacles

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Indirect genetic selection for early growth and disease resistance of southern pines has proven remarkably successful over the past several decades. However, several benefits could be derived for southern pine breeding programs by incorporating ideotypes, conceptual models which explicitly describe plant phenotypic characteristics that are hypothesized to produce greater yield. The potential benefits of using ideotypes include improvement in trait heritabilities and genetic correlations, higher genetic gain in diverse silvicultural environments, guidance for developing mating designs, and provision of a framework for synthesis of tree production physiology knowledge. There are numerous obstacles to the development of ideotypes for southern pines, most of them related to the difficulty of linking traits and processes that operate at small spatial and temporal scales (e.g., tree crown morphological traits or leaf net photosynthesis) with outputs that occur at large spatial and temporal scales (e.g., stand-level, rotation-age stem biomass yield). Fortunately, as we enter the 21st century, several relevant advances are converging that bode well for overcoming these obstacles. These advances relate to improvements and developments of process modeling, advances in technologies that permit measures of component processes at relevant scales, the likely future importance of intensive clonal forestry, and the movement toward large-scale genetic block plot experiments. FOR. Sci. 47(1):21–28.
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Keywords: Process models; clonal forestry; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; intensive management; natural resource management; natural resources; scaling; tree improvement

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Project Leader USDA Forest Service Southern Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 12254 Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709, Phone: (919) 549-4012 2: Professor School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0410, Phone: (352) 846-0900

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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