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Genetic variation in branchlet carbon and nitrogen isotope composition and nutrient concentration of 11-year-old hoop pine families in relation to tree growth in subtropical Australia

Xu, Zhihong , Prasolova, Nina, Lundkvist, Kenneth , Beadle, Chris L. , & Leaman, Trevor (2003) Genetic variation in branchlet carbon and nitrogen isotope composition and nutrient concentration of 11-year-old hoop pine families in relation to tree growth in subtropical Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 186(1-3), 359 -371.

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Abstract

Genetic variation in tree growth and branchlet carbon isotope composition (delta(13)C), nitrogen (N) isotope composition (delta(15)N) and nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn) concentration of 11-year-old hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii Ait. ex D. Don) half-sib families were examined at two contrasting sites (31 families with 8 blocks sampled at a wet site and 27 families with 9 blocks at a dry site) in south-east Queensland, Australia. Genetic correlations were determined between the tree growth traits, between the physiological traits, and between the physiological and growth traits. The potential of using these tree physiological traits was evaluated for assisting in selection of elite hoop pine families with improved water-use efficiency (WUE) as reflected in branchlet delta(13)C, nutrient (particularly N)-use efficiency (NUE) and tree growth. At the wet site there was significant genetic variation in tree growth, branchlet VC, nutrient concentration and mineral concentration among the 11-year-old hoop pine families, with heritability estimates ranging from 0.26 to 0.72. At the dry site, there was also significant genetic variation in some of the corresponding variables with heritability estimates ranging from 0.26 to 0.54. There seemed to be significant family variation in branchlet delta(15)N at the dry site (P = 0.068), with a moderate heritability estimate of 0.21, but not at the wet site. Some strong genetic correlations were also found between the tree growth traits, between the physiological traits, and between the tree growth and the physiological traits. Tree WUE and branchlet nutrient concentrations were significantly influenced by rainfall and soil fertility. Branchlet delta(15)N at the wet site was significantly lower than that at the dry site, suggesting that soil microbial-plant interactions might play a role in discriminating soil available N-15 in favor of N-14 for tree uptake (lower delta(15)N in plant tissues) at the wet site. Branchlet delta(13)C delta(15)N and nutrient (particularly N) concentration show promise as physiological and nutritional traits for assisting in the selection of elite hoop pine families with improved tree WUE, NUE and growth for the more water- and nutrient-limited environments in subtropical Australia. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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ID Code: 20610
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(03)00304-9
ISSN: 0378-1127
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > FORESTRY SCIENCES (070500) > Tree Nutrition and Physiology (070508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > FORESTRY SCIENCES (070500) > Tree Improvement (Selection and Breeding) (070507)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support
Deposited On: 26 May 2009 08:21
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 04:28

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