A Comparison of Growth and Stand Structural Characteristics in Pure- and Mixed-Family Stands of Loblolly Pine
Planting a mixture of genotypes in pure species stands has been proposed as a method to mimic advantages associated with mixed-species plantings. Stand-level volume differences between mixed-family and half-sib pure-family plantings, representing divergent ideotypes, were assessed across three spacings in a 21-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) stand. Stand-level volume and individual dbh, height, and stem volume distributions were compared between the pure-family planting and the mixed-family planting. In addition, stand dynamic changes in the mixed-family planting were examined. Overall, no differences in pure-family and mixed-family plantings existed, whereas the two best pure families outperformed the mixed planting by 12% volume at age 21. The two best families have a unique complement of attributes, indicating a production ideotype. The volume differences appear to be due to greater competition causing a bimodal-like growth distribution in individual traits. The dynamics of the mixed-family planting increasingly mimicked single pure-family plots, although stand development was not accelerated to the extent observed in the pure-family plots. Hence, pure-family loblolly pine stand volume was maximized through selection and planting of a few best performing families.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-04-16
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