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Genetic parameters and provenance variation of Pinus radiata D. Don. ‘Eldridge collection’ in Australia 2: wood properties

Abstract

Provenance variation and genetic parameters for wood properties of mature radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) were studied by sampling three provenance/progeny trials in southeast Australia. Among the mainland provenances, Monterey and Año Nuevo had higher density and modulus of elasticity (at one site) than Cambria. Basic density and predicted modulus of elasticity (MoE) for the island provenances, Guadalupe and Cedros, were ∼20% higher at Billapaloola compared to mainland provenances grown at Green Hills and Salicki, differences that may or may not be linked to site differences. Heritability estimates of density, predicted MoE and microfibril angle were significant and \( {\bar{h}^2} \) > 0.45, suggesting moderate to strong genetic control. The estimated genetic correlations between diameter at breast height and wood properties in the current study were weaker (less negative) than the mean estimated from the current breeding population generation in radiata pine. Of the wood properties, density showed the strongest adverse genetic correlations with growth (mean r A  = −0.23 ± 0.09). Selection for MoE may produce greater gain than selection for density because MoE had almost twice the estimated additive genetic coefficient of variation (\( {\overline {\text{CV}}_A} \)) compared to density. Estimated type B genetic correlations (r B) for all wood quality traits were typically high, conforming to the trend that wood properties have low genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E). Significant differences in wood properties among provenances, families and/or individual trees provide an opportunity for breeding programmes to select superior trees for solid wood production that will combine superior growth with desirable wood traits.

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Acknowledgements

This research was jointly funded by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Radiata Pine Breeding Company, Forests New South Wales and the Southern Tree Breeding Association. Thanks to Forestry New South Wales and HVP Plantations for the 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 K. G. Eldridge for his efforts and vision on gene conservation and utilisation of radiata pine genetic resources. Ian Knight and David Spencer helped with the core extraction. Liming Bian helped with basic density measurements. We thank Drs. Xinguo Li, Adrian Hathorn and Paul Cotterill and an anonymous reviewer for their comments and suggestions on the earlier versions of this paper, and associate editor (Dr. Rowland Burdon), for the helpful comments and suggestions for editing the manuscript.

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Gapare, W.J., Ivković, M., Dillon, S.K. et al. Genetic parameters and provenance variation of Pinus radiata D. Don. ‘Eldridge collection’ in Australia 2: wood properties. Tree Genetics & Genomes 8, 895–910 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-012-0475-x

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Keywords

  • Pinus radiata
  • Provenances
  • Genetic parameters
  • Density
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Microfibril angle