Effect of seed collection and site altitude on the growth and genetic variability of early and late flushing provenances of Norway spruce tested in the IPTNS-IUFRO 1964/68 site in Poland

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The growth characteristics and the genetic variability of 23 population of Norway spruce tested in the largest international comparative experiments IPTNS-IUFRO 1964/68 in Krynica were analysed. The studied populations belong to early and late flushing provenances from Alpine, Carpathian and north-eastern range of occurrence of species. The height, diameter at breast height (DBH) and genetic diversity of 79 trees were examined using random amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD) technique. The mean spruce height at the age of 45 years was 17.5 m and the DBH 20.4 cm. The average and the effective number of alleles per locus calculated for all studied populations was 0.90 and 1.20, respectively. The expected heterozygosity was 0.10. The obtained results show statistically significant relationship of the parameters of genetic variability of Norway spruces and the type of seed collection from which the IUFRO experience was established. It was found that the genetic variability of the studied population depends on the longitude and height above sea level of mother stands. No significant correlation was found between the type of seed collection and location of mother stands and height and DBH of Norway spruce. Also the growth characteristics (height and the DBH) of trees do not depend on their genetic variability.

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