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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Silva Fennica 1926-1997 vol. 25 no. 4 | 1991

Special issue: Biological Systems in Tree Breeding

Category: Article

article id 5467, category Article
E. K. Morgenstern, Y. S. Park. (1991). Breeding of Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.: seed orchard and clonal approaches. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5467.

During the past 30 years, genetics research has accumulated much information on black spruce (Picea mariana). The adoption of less intensive and faster plustree selection, establishment of seedling seed orchards and family selection significantly increased the rate of progress in improvement of the species. In New Brunswick this approach made it possible to obtain substantial quantities of seeds 10 years after the initiation of the program, and now all the seeds used in reforestation are derived from seed orchards.

Fourteen years after beginning the black spruce breeding program, second generation breeding is underway. The possibility of implementing alternative breeding strategies using ”breeding – cloning” procedures are explored for the advanced generation. Until somatic embryogenesis techniques become fully operational, ”backward selection” schemes and crossing in breeding halls followed by vegetative multiplication using serial rooted cuttings can be adopted. Larger genetic gains than those from conventional breeding are expected not only from the utilization of both additive and non-additive variances, but also from the elimination of inefficiencies of large conventional seed orchards.

  • Morgenstern, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Park, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5466, category Article
Hely Häggman. (1991). Application of biotechnology to forest tree breeding. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5466.

Forest tree breeding involves manipulation of genetic composition of populations and individuals, and biotechnology focuses on selected individuals. The new techniques cannot replace the conventional breeding techniques but both need effective cooperation of each other. Thus, the distinction between conventional breeding and biotechnology is artificial. The biotechnology methods are new and fast developing and the future with field and progeny testing will show which techniques will be permanently adopted into tree breeding. For instance, the earlier hope of the use of somaclonal variation as a new source of variability and a powerful tool for the breeder seem today quite the opposite. Somaclonal variation constituting a major problem in present-day micropropagation is due to the unpredictable variation. Based on knowledge of today, especially micropropagation via somatic embryos, transgenic trees and the identification of major genes seem to be good candidates to be permanently adopted into tree breeding.

  • Häggman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5465, category Article
Gösta Eriksson. (1991). Challenges for forest geneticists. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5465.

Studies of phenotypic as well as mixed population plasticities are urgently needed in a world that supposedly experiences a gradual change of its environment. It is important to understand that man creates his environment and silviculture. This is one of the reasons why for breeding it cannot be expected to find optimal phenotypes in nature. Other reasons are the phylogenetic constraints and migration of pollen and seeds.

Forest genetics up to now is characterized by the study of one trait at a time. There is an urgent need for simultaneous analysis of several traits by the aid of genetic correlations or multivariate analysis. Generally there is a need for inclusion of larger numbers of genetic entries in forest genetic investigations.

For the long-rotation-time species there is a need to determine the curves for degree of dormancy and hardiness during the annual cycle. Information of plasticity in two-dimensional environments like water availability and temperature is needed. Studies on nutrient utilization and acquisition will tell us whether or not we must have different breeding populations for different soil fertilities. An understanding of the phase changes between juvenile and adult opens up possible applications such as faster generation turn-over in the breeding population via early flowering and early testing as well as better plants for frost-prone and weedy sites.

  • Eriksson, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5464, category Article
Donald I. Dickmann. (1991). Role of physiology in forest tree improvement. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5464.

The paper introduces different ways plant physiology research can avail the process of tree improvement. The breeding of tree cultivars that efficiently produce a particular wood product or amenity will be an important aspect of forest management. What physiologist can provide to breeders and genetic engineers is the opportunity to move their work from empirical level towards a more theoretical level, and help to make breeding more predictable and more precise in its objectives. The areas of research discussed in the paper are biotechnology, flowering, selection criteria, adaptability and application of ideotypes.

  • Dickmann, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5463, category Article
Öje Danell. (1991). Survey of past, current and future Swedish forest tree breeding. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5463.

The paper gives an introduction of the tree breeding program of Sweden that started in 1936 by the establishment of an association for the tree breeding. In 1967 the Institute of Forest Improvement was founded and it replaced the earlier association. The main species in the programme have been Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), lately also birch (mainly Betula pendula Roth.) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). In addition, limited breeding has been done also with hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x P. tremuloides), oak (Quercus), larch (Larix), black spruce (Picea mariana) and a few other native and exotic species. The dominating initial effort has been to select plustrees in natural stands and use them for production of reforestation material. In addition, a considerable body of tests was built. The paper lists the status of breeding material of the different tree species and introduces the medium and short-term breeding programmes.

  • Danell, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5462, category Article
Wladyslaw Chalupka. (1991). Usefulness of hormonal stimulation in the production of genetically improved seeds. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5462.

Application of growth regulators, primarily gibberellins, has become an efficient method of flowering regulation in many coniferous forest trees. In this paper some results are discussed with respect to various genetic processes in seed orchards. It is concluded that there are still several unsolved problems in the regulation of flowering in forest seed orchards. These problems are related to different genetic processes occurring in the seed orchards and they should be taken into account in endeavouring to produce genetically improved seeds. 

  • Chalupka, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5461, category Article
Run-Peng Wei, Dag Lindgren. (1991). Valinnan vaikutukset monimuotoisuuteen ja jalostushyötyyn. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5461.
English title: Selection effects on diversity and genetic gain.

Four different methods of truncation selection were studied in a population consisting of a large number of unrelated full sib families of equal size: phenotype selection, family selection, within-family selection and combined index selection (optimal weighting of individual and family performance to get the best prediction of breeding value). Methods were developed for calculating diversity (”relative effective family number”) for the different selection methods. Numerical calculations were made for genetic gain and diversity. Model assumptions are additive gene control and normal distribution. Phenotypic was good at high heritabilities and between family at low heritabilities. Loss of diversity was strongly dependent on selection method and selection strength. Compared at the same diversity, genetic gain was lower for combined index compared to phenotypic. There is a need for methods combining the goals gain and diversity.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Wei, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Lindgren, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5460, category Article
R. C. Schmidtling. (1991). Perusrungon ja varttamisoksan vaikutus Pinus taedan vartteiden kukintaan, kasvuun ja neulasten ravinnepitoisuuteen. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5460.
English title: Effect of rootstock and scion on flowering, growth and foliar nutrients of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) grafts.

In two separate studies, seedlings from 20 loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) families and Virginian pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) were used as root stocks for grafting loblolly pine seed orchard clones. The rootstocks were open-pollinated seedlings from orchard clones chosen to represent a wide range of flowering and survival capabilities, based on their performance in a first-generation seed orchard. Scions were derived from the same 20 loblolly clones. The effects of scion clone were significant and large for nearly all measured traits. Rootstock significantly affected survival, growth, flowering and foliar nutrients of the grafted ramets. Neither survival nor growth of the crafts was related to survival of growth of the orchard clones from which their rootstocks were derived, however. Survival of incompatible clones was enhanced by grafting on genetically related rootstocks.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Schmidtling, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5459, category Article
Pertti Pulkkinen. (1991). Riippakuusen latvusmuoto ja maanpäällisen kasvun jakautuminen runkoon. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5459.
English title: Crown form and harvest increment in pendulous Norway spruce.

Crown characteristics and the distribution of three years’ (1986–88) biomass production of 20 pendulous Norway spruce (Picea abies f. pendula (Lawson) Sylvén) trees with heritable narrow crown and 15 normal-growned spruces (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) were studied in a 19-year-old mixed stand.

The form of the crown is conical in normal-crowned trees, columnar and narrow in pendulous trees. The partitioning of aboveground biomass to stems during the studied 3-year period was significantly higher in pendulous (0.281) than in normal-crowned trees (0.255) and also the ratio between growth of stemwood and growth of needle biomass during three years was higher in pendulous trees (0.67 g g-1) than in normal-crowned trees (0.52 g g-1). The needle biomass was distributed higher in the crown in pendula than in normal-crowned trees and they had a higher needle biomass/branchwood biomass ratio than normal trees. The difference in harvest increment between the two crown types are mostly due to the significantly lower branchwood biomass values in pendulous than in normal-crowned trees. The higher needle ’efficiency’ in pendulous trees is probably connected with high partitioning of needle biomass to the upper part of the crown in pendulous trees.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Pulkkinen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5458, category Article
Jaroslaw Burczyk, Grzegorz Kosiński, Andrzej Lewandowski. (1991). Pölytyssuhteet ja tyhjien siementen osuus euroopanlehtikuusen vartteiden ylä- ja alaosassa . Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5458.
English title: Mating pattern and empty seed formation in relation to crown level of Larix decidua (Mill.) clones.

The mating system was analysed in the upper and lower crown of two groups of European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) clones divided according to the percentage of full seeds in the upper and lower crown parts. The overall multilocus estimate of outcrossing rate (t) was calculated to be 0.929. The differences of outcrossing rates between crown levels and clonal groups respectively were not statistically significant. The t estimates were greater for the upper crown level and for clones with higher percentage of full seeds in the upper crown level. However, among all observations there was no correlation between outcrossing rates and percentages of full seeds for particular crown levels and groups of clones. Observed similarity of outcrossing among grafts of the same clones may indicate genetic control of self-fertilization rate in individual European larch. 

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Burczyk, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kosiński, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Lewandowski, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5457, category Article
Hans Roulund, Tore Skrøppa. (1991). Summary of main topics and conclusions from the meeting. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5457.

This paper summarises the main topics and conclusions from the joint meeting of two IUFRO working parties, S2.04-02, Breeding theory and progeny testing, and S2.02-16, Seed orchards, held in Tuusula, Finland on September 10–15, 1991. It concludes the main topics that need more research in these disciplines and future trends in the research.

  • Roulund, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Skrøppa, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5456, category Article
Veikko Koski. (1991). Biological systems in tree breeding. Silva Fennica vol. 25 no. 4 article id 5456.

This issue of Silva Fennica includes the presentations given in a joint meeting of two IUFRO working parties, S2.04-02, Breeding theory and progeny testing, and S2.02-16, Seed orchardsThe sessions were held in Tuusula, Finland on September 10–15, 1991.

  • Koski, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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