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Importance of survival in short-rotation tree breeding programs


Chambers, PGS and Borralho, NMG, Importance of survival in short-rotation tree breeding programs, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 27, (6) pp. 911-917. ISSN 0045-5067 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1139/cjfr-27-6-911


An empirical growth function was used, relating individual tree growth and spacing, to predict the economic importance of improving early survival. Selection index theory was used to examine the importance of including survival as a selection criterion, providing survival ability against a specific environmental effect can be identified, with the aim of maximizing the productivity per hectare in a short-rotation breeding program. The results clearly showed that survival is a highly important selection trait. The importance of including survival increased with increasing mortality within a stand, and with adverse genetic correlations between volume per tree and survival. In all cases, survival was shown to be, in relative terms, of greater importance than volume per tree, unless initial plantation survival was very high (>90%). Index selections combining volume per tree and survival resulted in 10% to 90% greater gains in volume per hectare than selection based on an index including only volume per tree alone. The opportunity cost of including survival in a selection program, in terms of gains foregone in volume per tree, was shown to only become an issue in the unlikely case where selection pressure on survival in breeding programs is maintained even though mortality in plantations is zero. In this case, the desired gain in survival may be set as high as 15% before any substantial gains in volume per tree are foregone.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Tree improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood plantations
UTAS Author:Chambers, PGS (Dr Paul Gregory Scott Chambers)
UTAS Author:Borralho, NMG (Dr Nuno Borralho)
ID Code:11736
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-12

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