Forests 2013, 4(4), 786-807; doi:10.3390/f4040786
Article

Wood Quality and Growth Characterization across Intra- and Inter-Specific Hybrid Aspen Clones

1 Department of Wood Science, University of British Columbia, 4030-2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 2 Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 3 Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., P.O. Box 8000, Boyle, Alberta, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2013; in revised form: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
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Abstract: Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is one of the most abundant poplar species in North America; it is native, displays substantial breadth in distribution inhabiting several geographical and climatic ecoregions, is notable for its rapid growth, and is ecologically and economically important. As the demand for raw material continues to increase rapidly, there is a pressing need to improve both tree quality and growth rates via breeding efforts. Hybridization is considered one of the most promising options to simultaneously accelerate these tree characteristics, as it takes advantage of heterosis. Two aspen species showing particular promise for hybridization with trembling aspen are European aspen (P. tremula) and Chinese aspen (P. davidiana) because their native climates are similar to that of P. tremuloides and are also very easy to hybridize. In 2003, aspen clones were planted in Athabasca, Alberta from the following species crosses: open pollinated (OP) P. tremuloides (NN), OP P. davidiana (CC), P. tremula × P. tremula (EE), P. tremula × P. tremuloides (EN), and P. tremuloides × P. davidiana (CN). In November 2010, growth measurements and core samples were taken from seven-year field grown clones. Comparisons of the mean growth and cell wall traits were made between crosses using generalized linear model least squares means tests for stem volume, fiber length, fiber width, coarseness, wood density, microfibril angle, total cell wall carbohydrate and lignin content, and lignin composition. The results clearly indicated that the inter-specific crosses offer a means to breed for more desirable wood characteristics than the intra-specific Populus spp. crosses.
Keywords: Populus; P. tremuloides; P. tremula; P. davidiana; hybridization; wood quality

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hart, J.F.; de Araujo, F.; Thomas, B.R.; Mansfield, S.D. Wood Quality and Growth Characterization across Intra- and Inter-Specific Hybrid Aspen Clones. Forests 2013, 4, 786-807.

AMA Style

Hart JF, de Araujo F, Thomas BR, Mansfield SD. Wood Quality and Growth Characterization across Intra- and Inter-Specific Hybrid Aspen Clones. Forests. 2013; 4(4):786-807.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hart, James F.; de Araujo, Francis; Thomas, Barb R.; Mansfield, Shawn D. 2013. "Wood Quality and Growth Characterization across Intra- and Inter-Specific Hybrid Aspen Clones." Forests 4, no. 4: 786-807.

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