Open Access

Estimation of Clonal Variation in Seed Cone Production Over Time in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Seed Orchard


Possibilities for early selection of clones for future seed cone production were studied in a clonal seed orchard of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in northern Sweden over the first 30 years following establishment. The annual data were modelled as series of bivariate analyses. The correlations between cone production of clones in any individual year and that of a previous year, and cumulative cone production over all years were studied. The corresponding multivariate analysis for a full data fit simultaneously was best estimated with a genetic distance-based power model (AR). The genetic (variation among clones) and environmental variation were of the same magnitude. The genetic correlations were larger than the phenotypic correlations and both increased with orchard age. Basing selection of clones on a single observation at an early age to improve future cone production was not effective, but efficiency increased if cumulative cone count over many years was used. Year-to-year genetic correlations indicated that early forecasts by clone of cone production at mature ages are highly uncertain. Reliable predictions (moderate correlations) could be achieved only if based on rather mature grafts, 14 or more years after establishment.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biotechnology, Plant Science