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U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Southern Regional Extension Forestry Southern Regional Extension Forestry

Impact Of Seed Insects On Control-pollinated Slash Pine Cones

Screening to exclude insects greatly increased the seed yields from self-, polycross-, and wind-pollinated slash pine cones. The sample cones were dissected and the cone scales identified as fertile or infertile. Based on radiographic examination, all ovules and seeds on the fertile scales were classified as (1) first-year aborted ovules, (2) second-year aborted ovules, (3) empty seed, (4) filled seed, (5) seedbug-damaged seed, or (6) Laspeyresia-killed seed. Caged wind-pollinated cones produced an average of 116 filled seeds per cone compared to 20 filled seeds produced by uncaged cones. Self- and polycross-pollinated cones produced 6 and 16 filled seeds per cone with screen wire cages but only 2 and 11 filled seeds per cone without cages. Most seed loss occurred as aborted ovules before seedcoat formation (wings but without seed). Both insect damage and pollination problems contributed to the high seed losses. Additional keywords: Leptoglossus corculus, ovule abortion, Pinus elliottii, Tetyra bipunctata.

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Author(s): Gary L. DeBarr, David L. Bramlett, A. E. Squillace

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1975