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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Optimum lifetime for Swedish Picea abies seed orchards

Moriguchi, Yoshinari; Prescher, Finnvid; Lindgren, Dag

Abstract

The optimum lifetime of Picea abies seed orchards in Sweden was calculated using a model which considers changes in seed yield over time, annual progress of genetic gain, establishment, management and seed costs, and both the monetary and genetic value of the seeds produced. The longer the seed orchard is active, the more genetically outdated the produced seeds will become, and thus their value will decline with time. A main scenario was constructed using the best available estimates for Swedish Norway spruce and was compared to various alternatives reflecting likely variations. The optimal lifetimes in all of these scenarios was in the order of 40 years. Sensitivity analyses showed that use of orchards for slightly more or less than their optimal lifetimes does not lead to large losses. A more effective tree breeding program could slightly reduce the optimal lifetimes. The optimal lifetime depends strongly on the relationship between monetary value and genetic gain. Thus, in cases where genetic progress is sufficiently rapid, the optimal lifetime may be less than 30 years.

Keywords

Norway spruce; genetic gain; seed orchard optimization; economics; breeding and production populations

Published in

New Forests
2008, Volume: 35, number: 2, pages: 147-157
Publisher: SPRINGER