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Special Issue "Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gary Peter

Forest Genomics and Cell Biology, 326 Newins-Ziegler Hall, P.O. Box 110410, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0410, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 352 846 1277
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. C. Dana Nelson

Southern Institute of Forest Genetics, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 23332 Success Road, Saucier, MS 39574-9344, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 228 832 0130
Interests: forest genetics; tree breeding; biotechnology
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Robert Evans

SilviScan Pty Ltd, 8 Dobell Place, Doncaster, East Victoria 3109, Australia
E-Mail
Interests: wood structure; non-destructive testing; climate adaptation; forest products
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John C. F. Walker

School of Forestry, College of Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wood quality from breeding to utilization (specific interest in pines and eucalypts); wood processing (mechanical properties, drying and preservation)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Genetic, biotechnology and silvicultural advances have dramatically accelerated forest tree growth, improving yields while decreasing rotation lengths. Compared with natural forests, these advances have altered the wood supply for industrial products, which are now made from fewer species and wood from substantially younger ages. Moreover, as the productivity of forest plantations continues to increase and markets change, the opportunity for tailoring wood properties of select species for specific end uses that add more value to the forest supply chain will become more feasible.
To obtain information that enables genetic development and appropriate management of trees with altered wood properties, measurement of these properties will be more essential. A number of excellent methods and instruments have been developed to measure wood anatomical, chemical and mechanical properties. However, important questions remain about genetic and silviculture affects on wood properties, their variability within and between trees, their interactions, and their affect of xylem function…. Thus, there is still a need for additional analytical and physical approaches and tools to address these and other important questions to enhance our understanding of the structure, function and utilization of wood and enable improvement of wood properties through management and genetics. A key goal towards enhancing the yield and value of wood harvested from sustainably grown forest plantations.

Prof. Dr. Gary Peter
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • wood properties
  • wood quality
  • silviculture
  • genetics
  • breeding
  • forest products
  • bioenergy
  • nondestructive testing

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Acoustic Wave Velocity as a Selection Trait in Eucalyptus nitens
Forests 2014, 5(4), 744-762; doi:10.3390/f5040744
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
PDF Full-text (1049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies in Eucalyptus nitens have revealed favourable genetic correlations exist between acoustic wave velocity (AWV) in standing trees and modulus of elasticity (MOE), which can determine the suitability of trees for structural timber and/or engineered wood products. This study investigates the strength
[...] Read more.
Previous studies in Eucalyptus nitens have revealed favourable genetic correlations exist between acoustic wave velocity (AWV) in standing trees and modulus of elasticity (MOE), which can determine the suitability of trees for structural timber and/or engineered wood products. This study investigates the strength and stability of genetic variation in standing tree AWV across a range of environments in Tasmania, where there are a number of large plantation estates and breeding trials. Trees under study were from open-pollinated progeny trials established in 1993. Across sites, for standing tree AWV the ranking of E. nitens races did not change and within-race additive genetic correlations were strong (0.61 to 0.99). Heritabilities (0.16 to 0.74) and coefficients of additive genetic variation (2.6 to 4.8) were moderate for this trait. Correlations between standing tree AWV and both basic density and diameter at breast height (DBH) were favourable. Results indicate that there is potential to improve MOE in E. nitens through the exploitation of genetic variation in AWV among and within races, the expression of genetic variation in AWV is relatively stable across different growing environments, and past selection for basic density and growth in pulpwood breeding programs is unlikely to have adversely affected MOE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Pyrolysis Mass Spectrometry and Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Genetic Analysis of Lignocellulose Chemical Composition in Populus
Forests 2014, 5(3), 466-481; doi:10.3390/f5030466
Received: 15 January 2014 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Genetic analysis of wood chemical composition is often limited by the cost and throughput of direct analytical methods. The speed and low cost of Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) overcomes many of these limitations, but it is an indirect method relying on calibration
[...] Read more.
Genetic analysis of wood chemical composition is often limited by the cost and throughput of direct analytical methods. The speed and low cost of Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) overcomes many of these limitations, but it is an indirect method relying on calibration models that are typically developed and validated with small sample sets. In this study, we used >1500 young greenhouse grown trees from a clonally propagated single Populus family, grown at low and high nitrogen, and compared FT-NIR calibration sample sizes of 150, 250, 500 and 750 on calibration and prediction model statistics, and heritability estimates developed with pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry (pyMBMS) wood chemical composition. As calibration sample size increased from 150 to 750, predictive model statistics improved slightly. Overall, stronger calibration and prediction statistics were obtained with lignin, S-lignin, S/G ratio, and m/z 144 (an ion from cellulose), than with C5 and C6 carbohydrates, and m/z 114 (an ion from xylan). Although small differences in model statistics were observed between the 250 and 500 sample calibration sets, when predicted values were used for calculating genetic control, the 500 sample set gave substantially more similar results to those obtained with the pyMBMS data. With the 500 sample calibration models, genetic correlations obtained with FT-NIR and pyMBMS methods were similar. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis with pyMBMS and FT-NIR predictions identified only three common loci for lignin traits. FT-NIR identified four QTLs that were not found with pyMBMS data, and these QTLs were for the less well predicted carbohydrate traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
Open AccessArticle Wood Quality and Growth Characterization across Intra- and Inter-Specific Hybrid Aspen Clones
Forests 2013, 4(4), 786-807; doi:10.3390/f4040786
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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.
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
Open AccessArticle Genetic Improvement of White Spruce Mechanical Wood Traits—Early Screening by Means of Acoustic Velocity
Forests 2013, 4(3), 575-594; doi:10.3390/f4030575
Received: 7 May 2013 / Revised: 25 June 2013 / Accepted: 27 June 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing interest to use acoustic sensors for selection in tree breeding to ensure high wood quality of future plantations. In this study, we assessed acoustic velocity as a selection trait for the improvement of mechanical wood properties in two 15-
[...] Read more.
There is a growing interest to use acoustic sensors for selection in tree breeding to ensure high wood quality of future plantations. In this study, we assessed acoustic velocity as a selection trait for the improvement of mechanical wood properties in two 15- and 32-year-old white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench.] Voss) genetic tests. Individual heritability of acoustic velocity was moderate and of the same magnitude as heritability of wood density. Considerable genetic gain could be expected for acoustic velocity and a measure combining velocity and wood density. The relationship between acoustic velocity and cellulose microfibril angle (MFA) was strong on the genetic level and selection based on velocity could effectively improve MFA, which is one of the most important determinants of wood mechanical properties. Although low, the positive relationship between acoustic velocity and tree height presents an interesting opportunity for the improvement of both tree growth and wood quality. On the phenotypic level, MFA was more strongly correlated to acoustic velocity in mature trees than in young trees. The addition of easily obtainable traits such as diameter at breast height (DBH), height-to-diameter ratio as well as wood density to velocity determinations could improve models of MFA at the young and the mature age. We conclude that juvenile acoustic velocity is an appropriate trait to select for wood quality in a tree breeding context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
Open AccessArticle Specific Gravity of Hybrid Poplars in the North-Central Region, USA: Within-Tree Variability and Site × Genotype Effects
Forests 2013, 4(2), 251-269; doi:10.3390/f4020251
Received: 18 March 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 23 April 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Specific gravity is an important consideration for traditional uses of hybrid poplars for pulp and solid wood products, as well as for biofuels and bioenergy production. While specific gravity has been shown to be under strong genetic control and subject to within-tree variability,
[...] Read more.
Specific gravity is an important consideration for traditional uses of hybrid poplars for pulp and solid wood products, as well as for biofuels and bioenergy production. While specific gravity has been shown to be under strong genetic control and subject to within-tree variability, the role of genotype × environment interactions is poorly understood. Most specific gravity reports are for a limited number of locations, resulting in a lack of information about the interactions between clones and sites over a wide range of climate and soil conditions. The objective of the current study was to characterize the effects of bole position, site, clone, and site × clone interactions for twelve hybrid poplar genotypes grown in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, USA. Observed specific gravities ranged from 0.267 to 0.495 (mean = 0.352 ± 0.001 for 612 samples taken from 204 trees), with bole position and site × clone interactions having significant effects on specific gravity. Further investigation of the site × clone interactions indicated that environmental conditions related to water stress were key predictors of specific gravity. These data are important for informing genotypic selection and silvicultural management decisions associated with growing hybrid poplars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Wood Quality from Planted Forests)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Wood Density and Anatomy of Peltophorum dubium as a Function of Provenance and Radial Position
Authors: Israel Luiz de Lima, Eduardo Luiz Longui *, Cintia Ceratto, Miguel Luiz Menezes Freitas, Sandra Monteiro Borges Florsheim andAntonio Carlos Scatena Zanatto
Affiliations: Instituto Florestal, Divisão de Dasonomia, Seção de Madeira e Produtos Florestais. CP 1322, CEP 02377-000, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Abstract: We studied the wood of Peltophorum dubium (Spreng.) Taub. (Fabaceae), popularly known in Brazil as canafístula, from two seed provenances far between and with different climates. The trees were planted in a third place and cut with 28 years-old. We hypothesized that due to differences in the origin of the seeds there would be some differences in the wood density and anatomical features between provenances and that the radial variation pattern would also be different. However, our results showed no significant differences in basic density and anatomical features between the two provenances. We observed in two provenances negative relation between vessel diameter and vessel frequency toward the bark, but other anatomical features showed distinct radial patterns. In general terms we found that the P. dubium showed homogeneous wood despite differences in genotypes, an important result for the use and wood quality in the timber market.

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