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Gains from selecting Pinus sylvestris in southern Sweden for volume per hectare

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An overall objective of the Swedish Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tree breeding programme is to increase volume production. Selection is based on height at young age as an indicator of future volume production. This study examined the relationship between height at young age and volume production in block-plots at older ages, and the sustainability of increased growth in volume per unit area using parent breeding values. The study included five trials with controlled pollinated progenies from 71 phenotypically selected plus-trees. Height and diameter were measured in the trials at ages ranging from 7 to 36 years. The genetic correlation between height at 9 years and volume growth per unit area at 30 years of age was 0.8. The additive genetic coefficient of variation for growth per area unit was 17% at the age of 30 years, i.e. first thinning. Based on the estimated parameters, selection of the best 25% genetic entries according to their height at age 9 years resulted in 13% volume gain at age of 30 years, while selection of the 10% best resulted in 18% volume gain. The plus-tree progenies had 12% higher volume growth per unit area than the unimproved commercial check lots, and this difference needs to be added to obtain the total gains. This means that selection of the 25% best parents gave a gain of 25% in volume per hectare compared with unimproved check lots.

Keywords: Block plots; Scots pine; breeding; genetic gain; volume production

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk), Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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