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Genetic variation of wood quality traits and relationships with growth in Picea abies

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Genetic parameters were estimated for wood density and spiral grain in two long-term field trials with families of Picea abies (L.) Karst., and for microfibril angle (MfA) and model-predicted wood stiffness (MOEest) at one of the sites. The trials were located at 600-720 m altitude in Norway and the progenies, which were a sample of 13 half-sib families from plus-trees in a breeding population, were 33 years old from seed when measured. Significant genetic variation (p<0.05) was found for all wood quality traits. The narrow-sense heritability was estimated to be 0.50 for density (across two sites), 0.38 for MfA, 0.29 for MOEest and 0.37 for spiral grain (across two sites). No significant genotype by environment interactions were found for density or spiral grain (p>0.05). Genetic relationships between ring width and wood quality traits were negative for density and MOEest, and positive for MfA. Site index and competition had major effects on wood density and predicted MOEest but not on MfA and spiral grain.

Keywords: Genetic correlations; Norway spruce; genetic variation; growth traits; tree breeding; wood quality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Ås, Norway,Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway 2: Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Ås, Norway 3: Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway 4: Norwegian Forest Seed Center, Hamar, Norway

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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