Nordic provenance trials with Abies lasiocarpa and Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica: three-year results

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In three Nordic field trials, 26 provenances of Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. and Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica (Merriam) Lemmon were evaluated 3 yrs after establishment. The focus was on 16 traits important for adaptation, establishment and production of Christmas trees. For all three sites in Denmark, Norway and Iceland, survival ranged from 89 to 96%. Provenances showed statistically significant differences for all but two traits. For all traits there was significant interaction between provenance and site. Analysis of ecovalens showed that for most traits, only a limited number of provenances contributed substantially to the interaction. Therefore, a large proportion of the provenances showed a fairly consistent ranking across sites. The frequency of potential Christmas trees in the provenances ranged from 10 to 49%. Southern provenances from New Mexico and Arizona seemed to have the best potential for producing high-quality Christmas trees. The southern provenances added substantially to the interaction between provenance and site for budset, lammas growth and colour. When using multivariate statistical methods on all measured traits, the provenance clusters fitted neatly into six distinct geographical regions.
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