Table of Contents
ISRN Forestry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 346982, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/346982
Research Article

Estimation of Genetic and Phenotypic Parameters for Growth Traits in a Clonal Seed Orchard of Pinus kesiya in Malawi

Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi

Received 24 August 2013; Accepted 7 October 2013

Academic Editors: N. Frascaria-Lacoste, J. Kaitera, and Z. Kaya

Copyright © 2013 Edward Missanjo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Genetic and phenotypic parameters for height, diameter at breast height (dbh), and volume were estimated for Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon clonal seed orchard in Malawi using an ASReml program, fitting an individual tree model. The data were from 88 clones assessed at 18, 23, 30, 35, and 40 years of age. Heritability estimates for height, dbh, and volume were moderate to high ranging from 0.19 to 0.54, from 0.14 to 0.53, and from 0.20 to 0.59, respectively, suggesting a strong genetic control of the traits at the individual level, among families, and within families. The genetic and phenotypic correlations between the growth traits were significantly high and ranged from 0.69 to 0.97 and from 0.60 to 0.95, respectively. This suggests the possibility of indirect selection in trait with direct selection in another trait. The predicted genetic gains showed that the optimal rotational age of the Pinus kesiya clonal seed orchard is 30 years; therefore, it is recommended to establish a new Pinus kesiya clonal seed orchard. However, selective harvest of clones with high breeding values in the old seed orchard should be considered so that the best parents in the old orchard can continue to contribute until the new orchard is well established.