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Inheritance of growth and survival in two 9-year-old, open-pollinated progenies of an advanced breeding population of Chinese firs in southeastern China


Tree growth traits (tree height, DBH and stem volume) and survival from two 9-year-old, open-pollinated progeny tests of Chinese fir were investigated for heritability, genotype × environment interaction, age-age genetic correlation and selection efficiency. The 97 and 79 families planted at two sites were collected from the third-cycle seed orchard. Individual heritability was estimated between 0.05 and 0.21 for tree height, DBH, and volume and between 0.45 and 1.0 for survival. Family heritability was between 0.20 and 1.14. Significant genotype × environment interaction was observed for the three growth traits. Type B genetic correlation was between 0.41 and 0.67 with an increasing trend as tree grows. High age-age genetic correlation was observed with correlation reaching 0.9 after age 4 for height, DBH, and volume. The genetic gains were estimated at 3.26, 3.39 and 5.98 % for tree height, DBH, and volume with 10 % selection intensity. The implication for advanced tree breeding in Chinese fir is discussed.

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The authors thank Yangkou Forest Farm and Guanzhuang Forest Farm for trial maintenance over the years. Thanks are also extended to the many people who assisted at various stages of the work since 1964. The authors extend special gratitude to the late Yuewu Chen, their colleague, for his efforts and vision on gene conservation and utilization of Chinese fir genetic resources.

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Correspondence to Renhua Zheng.

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Project funding: This research was jointly funded by the Fujian Province Science and Technology Research funding for the Tree Breeding Program of Chinese fir (Min Lin 2009-4 and Min Lin Ke 2013-1) and Twelfth Five Year Plan in areas like national science and technology plan project (2012BAD01B0201). Support was also received from the Innovative Research Team of the Educational Department of China and the Innovative Research Team of the Universities of Jiangsu Province.

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Corresponding editor: Yu Lei

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Zheng, R., Hong, Z., Su, S. et al. Inheritance of growth and survival in two 9-year-old, open-pollinated progenies of an advanced breeding population of Chinese firs in southeastern China. J. For. Res. 27, 1067–1075 (2016).

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  • Chinese fir
  • Progeny test
  • Heritability
  • Genetic gain