VARIATION IN PULP WOOD TRAITS BETWEEN EUCALYPT CLONES ACROSS SITES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR DEPLOYMENT STRATEGIES
Keywords:Eucalypt hybrid, site effect, fibre yield, genotype by environment interaction, clonal deployment
LUO JZ, ARNOLD RJ, CAO JG, LU WH, REN SQ, XIE YJ & XU LA. 2012. Variation in pulp wood traits between eucalypt clones across sites and implications for deployment strategies. A total of 20 hybrid eucalypt clones at age 5½ years across four sites in coastal south-west China were assessed for volume and a subset of these for wood basic density and wood mass production. Six of these clones were also assessed for kraft pulp yield. Across the four sites the average tree volume, wood basic density, tree wood mass and pulp yield were
0.119 m3 tree-1, 474 kg m-3, 0.063 tonne tree-1 and 49.0% respectively. There were significant differences between both sites and clones for all the key traits studied. The best site for wood mass productivity had average plot wood mass of 0.239 tonne while the poorest site, only 0.128 tonne. Significant clone × site interactions were found for survival, volume tree-1, plot volume and plot wood mass. Clone and/or clone × site effects accounted for the major portion of variation for almost all the traits. However, site effects accounted for more variation on plot wood mass, indicating the importance of site selection. On account of the clone × site interactions, adopting a site-specific selection and deployment strategy was estimated to provide 15% greater wood mass yield across the region compared with a generalised selection and deployment strategy.