, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Selection for improved growth and wood quality in lodgepole pine: effects on phenology, hydraulic architecture and growth of seedlings

  • Tongli WangEmail author
  • Sally N. Aitken
  • Kathleen L. Kavanagh
Original Article


Selection for both growth and wood quality is the primary goal of many tree breeding programs. In order to investigate the impacts of such selection on adaptive traits, observations were made on phenology, drought resistance, xylem conductance and xylem vulnerability to cavitation of 2-year-old seedlings of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. Ex Loud var. latifolia Engelm) from four subpopulations: (1) fast height growth and high wood density (FH); (2) slow height growth and high density (SH); (3) fast height growth and low density (FL); and (4) slow height growth and low density (SL). Results showed that the impact of the selection on phenology was minor; differences in growth among subpopulations were mainly attributable to maximal growth rate and the duration of the period of rapid growth. The FL subpopulation showed a significantly stronger productivity decline in response to moderate drought compared to the two slower-growing subpopulations. The FH subpopulation showed significantly higher xylem specific conductivity than the two slower-growing subpopulations, and greater resistance to cavitation than the other three subpopulations, suggesting the possibility of selecting families that combine fast growth, high wood density and drought tolerance.


Phenology Drought tolerance Xylem conductance Cavitation 



This project was funded by grant HQ96341-RE from Forest Renewal BC to S.N.A. and by the NSERC/Industry Research Chairs in Population Genetics. We thank M. Carlson and J. Murphy, Research Branch, B.C. Ministry of Forests Research Branch for providing the wood samples and information on family group selection. We are grateful to S. Budge and J. Tuytel for technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tongli Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sally N. Aitken
    • 1
  • Kathleen L. Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Forest ResourcesUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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