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New Forests

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Genetic correlations among pulpwood and solid-wood selection traits in Eucalyptus globulus

  • Henry NickolasEmail author
  • Dean Williams
  • Geoff Downes
  • Paul Tilyard
  • Peter A. Harrison
  • René E. Vaillancourt
  • Brad Potts
Article
  • 135 Downloads

Abstract

Eucalyptus globulus is widely grown for pulpwood production in temperate regions of the world. However, there is increasing interest in using it for solid-wood products. We studied the genetic architecture of key pulpwood and solid-wood selection traits using two E. globulus progeny trials in a high rainfall area (wet) of Tasmania and a previously studied trial in a low rainfall area (dry). These trials were established using open-pollinated families from native trees sampled from 13 subraces. We assessed traits in common [diameter at breast height (DBH) and wood basic density (BD)], and specific to pulpwood [Kraft pulp yield (KPY)] and solid-wood [stem straightness and acoustic wave velocity (AWV)] breeding. Significant genetic variation was found for all traits. Strong GxE was detected for DBH across the wet and dry sites, but little for BD and KPY. At the wet sites we show a positive genetic correlation between DBH and KPY, but not between DBH and BD. Subrace and family within subrace correlations between KPY and BD were significant but in opposite directions. We confirm previous reports of significant positive genetic and phenotypic correlations between KPY and AWV. A positive genetic correlation between stem straightness and DBH was detected, and subraces with straighter stems tended to have higher KPY. In general, correlations between most solid-wood and pulpwood traits were favourable, suggesting that past selection for pulpwood traits had neutral or favourable effects on many key solid-wood traits. We conclude that breeding for solid-wood and pulpwood are relatively compatible.

Keywords

Eucalyptus globulus Genetic correlations Selection traits Pulpwood Solid-wood 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding for this project was under Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant LP140100506 (supported by the Southern Tree Breeding Association). Henry Nickolas acknowledges receipt of a Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship. We thank Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT; formerly Forestry Tasmania) for the provision and maintenance of the NW sites, and the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry for the support of trial establishment. We also thank Hugh Fitzgerald, Crispen Marunda and Dale Thorp for their assistance in data collection, as well as the Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA), and David Pilbeam particular, for assistance with data management.

Supplementary material

11056_2019_9721_MOESM1_ESM.docx (188 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 187 kb)

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences and ARC Training Centre for Forest ValueUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT)HobartAustralia
  3. 3.Forest Quality Pty. Ltd.HuonvilleAustralia

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