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Application of Nursery Testing in Long-Term White Spruce Improvement Programs

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Polycross-pollinated white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) families were evaluated in field and retrospective nursery tests in 1989, 1991, and 1992, respectively. Height growth was measured at age 10 for the field tests and at ages 1 to 6 for the retrospective nursery tests. Except for a few cases, the family mean correlations between nursery and field heights were significant for the 1989 and 1992 series, and their corresponding genetic correlations ranged from low to medium (from 0.37 to 0.74). Because of heavy noncrop competition, height growth in the 1991 nursery series showed consistently lower heritabilities and correlations with field performance compared with those of the other two series. Early nursery selection by theoretical prediction was generally efficient for the 1989 and 1992 series. Rank classification analysis indicated that application of early nursery selection should be used with caution for identifying elite families but could be used to cull inferior families or clones, apply multiple-stage selection, or perform positive assortative mating.
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Keywords: Picea glauca; early selection; family mean correlation; genetic correlation; rank classification analysis; selection efficiency

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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