Performance of hybrid poplar clones in short rotation coppice in Mediterranean environments: analysis of genotypic stability uri icon

abstract

  • Improving production in short rotation coppice (SRC) plantations requires, among other elements, a proper understanding of clonal performance. Genotypic stability over a range of environments is a factor of concern for breeding and recommendation purposes. Most common stability measures can be embedded in a mixed-model framework accounting for interaction and heterocedasticity in genotype-by-environment tables. Data from nine hybrid poplars of different taxonomic background were tested in four Mediterranean sites under three agronomic practices (control, herbicide application, and supplementary fertilization) for total biomass (TB), stem biomass (SB), and branch biomass (BB) at the end of the first rotation. Stability models (stability variance, Finlay-Wilkinson and Eberhart-Russell) were compared, also allowing for the definition of groups of genotypes with distinct taxonomic backgrounds and a priori different variabilities. Results showed that genotype-by-environment (GE) interactions were associated with factors inherent to evaluation sites rather than to the agronomic practices tested. Depending on biomass fraction, regression models provided appropriate stability measures. Highly reactive clones to improving environmental conditions (e.g., AF2') tended to show the largest mean TB. However, this was not always the case, as clone Monviso' showed both intermediate reactivity (i.e., stable sensu Eberhart-Russell) and enhanced overall performance. The taxonomic group was relevant for explaining stability patterns for SB. The stability assessment for BB indicated different patterns in biomass allocation. Present findings point to the feasibility of either exploiting specific adaptation (in which case hybrid type may play a relevant role) or searching for broadly adapted, stable material exhibiting good performance in Mediterranean conditions.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014