This study aims to understand the phenotypic and genotypic correlations among wood anatomical, physical, and mechanical properties of hybrid poplar clones. Samples were taken from seven clones grown on three sites in Southern Quebec, Canada. Five trees per clone were randomly sampled from each site to measure anatomical (fiber length, fiber proportion, vessel proportion, fiber wall thickness, tension wood), physical (basic density, volumetric, longitudinal, tangential, and radial shrinkage), and mechanical wood properties (flexural modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), ultimate crushing strength parallel to the grain). The observed phenotypic and genotypic correlations between these wood properties were moderate to strong, except for fiber length and vessel proportion. Genotypic correlations for all wood properties were higher than for corresponding phenotypic correlations. Furthermore, fiber length showed weak correlations, whereas, vessel proportion showed strongly negative correlations with all other properties. Strong correlations were also found among fiber proportion, fiber wall thickness, basic density, and mechanical properties. Furthermore, results from this study show close genotypic and phenotypic correlations between fiber proportion, fiber wall thickness, and wood density, which consequently affect the mechanical performance of wood products. These findings indicate that there is a substantial opportunity to improve wood quality by selecting several wood properties for different end uses.
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