Clonal variation in wood properties of Pinus taeda L.
Hornsby, Benjamin S.
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The use of clonal varieties in forestry offers great potential to improve growth traits (quantity) and wood properties (quality) of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Loblolly pine plantings established via somatic embryogenesis (clones), full-sib zygotic crosses, and half-sib zygotic open pollination were sampled to identify variation of wood properties among and within clonal lines and controls. Properties measured included breast height diameter, total height, wood density (specific gravity), latewood proportion, stem oven-dried weight, and microfibril angle (MFA). MFA was predicted using near infrared spectroscopy. Mixed model analysis showed properties were influenced by the random effect of planting location, there were no significant differences in growth characteristics by method of propagation, while clones and full-sib zygotic trees illustrated superior wood quality characteristics compared to half-sib zygotic trees. No differences were detected with respect to MFA. Georgia locations were superior to those in Mississippi with respect to growth and quality characteristics.