Seed Source Variation in Growth Performance of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. of Australian Origin in India

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Results of a provenance trial of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. laid out in 2001 at Seothi (30° N Lat., 76° E Long. and 250 m altitude) Haryana, a semi-arid region of India are reported and discussed. Six seed sources from Australia viz. Laura River, Emu Creek, Degrey River, Wiluna, Kennedy River, Morehead River were evaluated from nursery stage (3 months) to field performance (2 year). Two sources viz. E.tereticornis (Helenvele, Qld) and FRI-4 a local seed source were used as control (check material). Significant differences between the seed sources at nursery stage were observed for collar diameter (P < 0.05) and number of leaves (P < 0.01). At age 2 years, significant differences between the seed sources (P < 0.05) were observed for height and field survival. The two seed sources viz. Emu Creek Petford, QLD and Laura river, QLD ranked first and second for height and survival at this age. Results indicate that genetic differences exist between the sources of E. camaldulensis. None of the traits assessed (viz. height, collar diameter, number of leaves, number of branches and survival) was found to correlate with any of the geographical coordinates of the site (latitude, longitude and altitude). There were fair differences between phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variability. Heritability values were fairly high for height and clear bole length in comparison to collar diameter, number of branches and survival. The relative performance of these provenances was fairly consistent throughout the period of observation. The two sources viz. Laura river, QLD and Emu Creek Petford, QLD are recommended for potential source for plantation programme under semi-arid conditions.

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