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Genetic Gain and Selection Efficiency of Loblolly Pine in Three Geographic Regions

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Genetic parameters of annual height to 8 yr and 4 to 8 yr volume were examined for Northern, Coastal, and Piedmont populations of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) from analyses of 23 disconnected half-diallel progeny tests in the southern United States. Genetic gains in year 8 volume predicted by various selection methods at age 6 revealed that selection on volume yielded more gain than selection on height. Among test regions, the Coastal population had the greatest correlated response, followed by the Piedmont population and Northern populations. Family plus within family selection was the most effective to achieve genetic gain for early selection on both height and volume. Additional gain (10–40%) can be achieved by capturing the nonadditive genetic component through mass production of fullsib crosses or vegetative propagation. Early selection efficiency was examined by using the ratio of either gain per year or present value between indirect selection and selection of year 8 volume. Optimal selection ages were determined for various selection methods. The analysis of selection efficiency showed earlier selection could be more efficient than selection on volume at age 8 or later. Family selection can be performed as early as age 3 for height and at age 4 for volume, which was the earliest measurement year for volume in this study. Family plus within family had its optimal selection age at age 3 or age 4. Based on the relatinship of age 8 with rotation gain, the selection criteria and timing were also appropriate. FOR. SCI. 49(2):196–208.

Keywords: Diallel mating; Pinus taeda L.; age-age genetic correlation; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; genetic gain; natural resource management; natural resources; selection efficiency; selection methods

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Former Graduate Research Assistant Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Box 8002 Raleigh, NC, 27695-8002, 2: Associate Professor Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Box 8002 Raleigh, NC, 27695-8002, Phone: (919)515-6845; Fax: (919)515-3169 3: Professor Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Box 8002 Raleigh, NC, 27695-8002,

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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