Canadian Forest Service Publications

Genetic variation in tracheid length and relationships with growth and wood traits in eastern white spruce (Picea glauca) 2003. Beaulieu, J. Wood Fiber Sci. 35: 609-616.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 24495

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Wood traits affect the quality of wood products, which is especially true for tracheid length regarding paper quality. While variation in tracheid length in white spruce is well known, estimates of genetic control over that trait as well as its relationships with growth traits and other wood characteristics have not yet been reported. Thus, the objectives of this study were: (1) to determine the extent of the differences in tracheid length among 30-year-old white spruce open-pollinated families; (2) to estimate the narrow sens heritability at both the individual and family levels for tracheid length; and (3) to estimated the phenotypic, genetic, and family mean correlations between height, dimater, volume, and wood specific gravity. We have shown that more than 90% of the variation in tracheid length is due to differences among trees within family plots. Heritabilities at both the family and the individual levels are low, so significant genetic gain could only be obtained from selection and vegetative propagation of the trees with the longest tracheids. Tracheid length in white spruce is negatively correlated to growth traits but appears to be independant of wood specific gravity. Effects of selection for growth traits on tracheid length are discussed.