Variation and Correlations Among Stem Growth and Wood Traits of Calycophyllum spruceanum Benth. from the Peruvian Amazon

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Abstract

Calycophyllum spruceanum Benth. is an important tree for timber and energy in the western Amazon, with expanding national and international markets for its wood. There is relatively little information, however, about geographic variation in tree growth and wood properties, and correlations among these traits. The first provenance trial was established with farming communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Seven provenances, sampled from regions near the equator, were tested in three planting zones located in one watershed. Variation and correlations were investigated in stem growth at 30 and 42 months, wood density (in the lower and upper parts of the stem) and mean heat content of stem wood at 32 months. Stem height varied significantly among provenances and planting zones, but zones accounted for much more variation than provenances. Stem wood traits did not vary significantly among provenances. Wood density was greater in the lower than in the upper stem. Wood density in the upper stem and the difference in density between the lower and upper stem varied significantly among planting zones: density in the upper stem was lowest, and the difference in density between the lower and upper stem was largest in the zone where trees grew most rapidly. Phenotypic correlations between stem growth and wood density differed in sign among planting zones, suggesting that selecting fastgrowing trees could indirectly reduce wood density in environments where trees grow slowly, and increase the difference in wood density between the lower and upper stem in environments where trees grow very rapidly. Correlations between stem growth and wood heat content were stable across zones, and indicated that larger trees tended to have wood with higher heat content. Stem-wood heat content varied with provenance latitude/ longitude in the sample region, but none of the other traits varied clinally. Results indicate that there is potential to select faster-growing provenances at an early age, but this could affect wood density in certain environments.

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