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Genetic Variation in Wood Quality (MOE) of Coastal Douglas-fir

Genetic studies in the literature suggest that most of the variation found among trees for wood density is controlled genetically; heritability (h2 ) estimates for wood density in Douglas-fir range between 0.5 to greater than 0.9. Unfortunately, the reported genetic correlations between wood density and growth rate are strongly negative, ranging from -0.5 to –1.0 (Bastion et al. 1985, King et al. 1988, Vargus-Hernadez and Adams 1991, St. Clair 1994). Because MOE is more important for utilization than is wood density per se, we decided to examine the genetic variation of MOE in coastal Douglas-fir indirectly with the Director HM- 200 ® (Hitman). The Hitman measures the sound velocity through a log, a which is highly correlated with dynamic MOE. Theoretically the relationship is: MOE = green density × velocity squared; see Andrews (2002) for more details.


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Author(s): G. Randy Johnson, Jr., Barbara Gartner

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2005