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Genetic parameters and provenance variation of Pinus radiata D. Don. ‘Eldridge collection’ in Australia 1: growth and form traits

Abstract

Growth and form traits data were obtained from eight provenance trials of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) planted across the radiata pine plantation estate in southeast Australia. The genetic pool included 466 open-pollinated families collected from Año Nuevo, Monterey and Cambria provenances on the Californian mainland coast in the USA and from Guadalupe and Cedros islands off the coast of Baja California in Mexico. Early survival of all provenances was around 90%, except for Cedros (<60%). Monterey and Año Nuevo were the best performers at almost all sites. However, good growth performance of Cambria and good stem straightness of Guadalupe on some sites are important results, because the genetic base of the present Australian plantations evidently originated from only Monterey and Año Nuevo. The average estimated single-site heritability for diameter at breast height was 0.22 and 0.32 at juvenile and mature ages, respectively. Heritability estimates for stem straightness and branching ranged from 0.23 to 0.55. Genetic correlation estimates between diameter at breast height (DBH) at juvenile and rotation ages were all >0.80. Estimates of between-site genetic and provenance correlations for DBH were often low, indicating high genotype by environment interaction across trials, consistent with previous Australian studies. However, there was minimal G × E among trials on high-altitude high-rainfall sites and among trials on low-altitude, low-rainfall sites.

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Acknowledgments

This research was jointly funded by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), Radiata Pine Breeding Company (RPBC), Forests New South Wales (FNSW) and the Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA). Thanks to Forestry New South Wales, ForestrySA, HVP Plantations, and Green Triangle Forest Products for trial maintenance and assessments over the years. Also, thanks are extended to a large number of people who assisted at various stages of the work, backdating to 1978. We extend special gratitude to our colleague, the late Dr. KG Eldridge for his efforts and vision on gene conservation and utilisation of radiata pine genetic resources. We thank Drs. Colin Matheson, Xinguo Li and an anonymous reviewer for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper and Associate Editor (R. Burdon), for very constructive suggestions and edits on the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Washington J. Gapare.

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Dedicated to the memory of our colleague Dr. Ken Eldridge (1934–2010).

Communicated by R. Burdon

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Gapare, W.J., Ivković, M., Dutkowski, G.W. et al. Genetic parameters and provenance variation of Pinus radiata D. Don. ‘Eldridge collection’ in Australia 1: growth and form traits. Tree Genetics & Genomes 8, 391–407 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-011-0449-4

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Keywords

  • Genetic conservation
  • Pinus radiata
  • Provenances
  • Genotype by environment interaction