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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Genetic Improvement of Sawn-Board Stiffness and Strength in Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Fundova, Irena; Hallingback, Henrik R.; Jansson, Gunnar; Wu, Harry X.


Given an overall aim of improving Scots pine structural wood quality by selective tree breeding, we investigated the potential of non-destructive acoustic sensing tools to accurately predict wood stiffness (modulus of elasticity, MOE) and strength (modulus of rupture, MOR) of sawn boards. Non-destructive measurements of wood density (DEN), acoustic velocity (VEL) and MOE were carried out at different stages of wood processing chain (standing trees, felled logs and sawn boards), whilst destructively measured stiffness and strength served as benchmark traits. All acoustic based MOE and VEL estimates proved to be good proxies (r(A) > 0.65) for sawn-board stiffness while MOETREE, VELHIT and resistograph wood density (DENRES) measured on standing trees and MOELOG and VELFAK measured on felled logs well reflected board strength. Individual-tree narrow-sense heritability (hi2) for VEL, MOE and MOR were weak (0.05-0.26) but were substantially stronger for wood density (0.34-0.40). Moreover, additive genetic coefficients of variation for MOE and MOR were in the range from 5.4% to 9.1%, offering potential targets for exploitation by selective breeding. Consequently, selective breeding based on MOETREE, DENRES or stem straightness (STR) could improve several structural wood traits simultaneously.


Structural timber; non-destructive testing; wood quality; modulus of elasticity; modulus of rupture; acoustic velocity; heritability; genetic correlation; tree breeding; genetic improvement

Published in

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
2020, Volume: 20, number: 4, article number: 1129Publisher: MDPI