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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Genotype × environment interaction and growth stability of several elm clones resistant to Dutch elm disease

Santini Alberto, Pecori Francesco, Pepori Alessia L, Ferrini Fabio, Ghelardini Luisa


Conventionally, hybrid elm clones obtained within breeding programs for Dutch elm disease (DED) resistance were selected to meet requirements for use as ornamentals. However, it has been long and commonly observed that these clones may show hybrid vigour and enhanced growth. Nowadays DED resistant hybrid elm clones, which have been released to the market or are under evaluation for an upcoming release, are numerous enough to be considered for timber production or short rotation coppice (SRC). But experimental testing of the growth performances of these clones in different environments is still lacking. In this paper, growth and stability of performance of twenty-four DED resistant hybrid elm clones planted at three experimental sites with contrasting environmental conditions in Italy were studied. Height and diameter were measured yearly from 2001 to 2009, and the mean yearly increments after plant establishment were calculated. The study revealed a general good growth performance of the majority of the clones with mean height increments above one meter per year, and an excellent growth performance of some genotypes. Analysis of variance showed significant effects of clone, site and clone × site interaction, for both height and diameter increments. Stability analysis of diameter and height increments was performed by using two parametric (CV% and W2) and two non-parametric (Hühn’s Si(1) and Si(2)) indexes. According to all indexes, two clones showed superior and stable growth. These clones may be suitable for planting in a range of environments. In addition, several other clones had high growth in general or at a particular site. The results support our belief that these elm clones could be successfully used for timber and biomass production, and provide new knowledge for an informed choice of the most suitable genotypes


biomass elms; Ulmus; phenotypic plasticity; stability analysis; breeding for DED resistance

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2010, volume: 260, number: 6, pages: 1017-1025
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Santini, Alberto
Pecori, Francesco
Pepori, Alessia L.
Ferrini, Fabio
Ghelardini, Luisa
National Research Council (CNR)

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Forest Science
Renewable Bioenergy Research

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