Application of growth traits and qualitative indices for selection of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) elite trees. A case study from Volyn region, western Ukraine
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Since the plus trees are selected based on phenotype, it is necessary to evaluate them in progeny test. The aim of this study is an indication of selecting elite mother trees based on the results from half-sib progeny test trials. As study sites, two Scots pine half-sib progeny tests were selected. During evaluation, the progenies had reached the age of 38 and 40 years, respectively. In both progeny trials, quantitative parameters and qualitative traits of Scots pine half-sib progenies were investigated. Based on these data, complex evaluation of half-sib families was carried out. We concluded that, Scots pine progenies at the age of 38 and 40 years in fresh and moist mixed forests are characterised by acceptable quality, with the survival being 25%–33% per progeny test trial. Based on a complex evaluation of 38- and 40-year-old half-sib progenies of plus trees, we proposed to select 31% of tested plus/mother trees as candidates for elite trees. Further, the list of candidates for elite trees was created with five plus trees from the Volyn region (26% of the total tested from the region) and four plus trees from the Lviv region (40% of the total tested from the region). With age, the share of the best and undesirable trees decreases, while the proportion of intermediate trees increases in both control trees and half-sib progenies. At the age of 38 and 40 years, the proportion of fast-growing offspring was from 0% to 36%, while the declining trend that was observed in previous years was being continued. Thus, due to the declining trend in the proportion of fast-growing offspring observed at the age of 38 and 40 years, we propose to select candidate trees for an elite group not early than after 40 years of test their progenies.
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