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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Juvenile growth of provenances and open pollinated families of four Russian larch species (Larix Mill.) in Swedish field tests

Karlman, Lars; Fries, Anders; Martinsson, O; Westin, J


Four Russian larch species; (Larix sukaczewii Dyl., L. sibirica Ledeb., L. gmelinii Rupr. and L. cajanderi Mayr.) were tested in combined provenance-progeny tests on three sites in Sweden. 29 provenances, two seed orchards and four seed stands-material were assessed for juvenile height growth and survival after five growing seasons in the field. Genetic parameters were also determined on the family level. The results show that provenances of L. sukaczewii originating from western Russia have the highest survival. Compared to the closely related L. sibirica, L. sukaczewii show better adaptation, a pattern that has also been observed in Finland and Iceland. Provenances of L. gmelinii from the Russian Far East demonstrate best juvenile height growth on all three sites. L. cajanderi from northern interior Siberia failed on all three sites. Both climatic and geographical variables showed strong correlation with survival and height. At this early evaluation it seems like provenances of L. sukaczewii can be transferred northward with satisfactory survival whereas southern transfer or transfer from strongly continental areas in Russia to the semi maritime climate in Sweden results in poor growth. CVA values suggested relatively high genetic variation in height for L. sukaczewii and L. sibirica. The heritabilities for height growth and survival were at this early evaluation generally low (h(2) < 0.10) and often non-significant.


Larix sukaczewii; L. gmelinii; L. sibirica; L. cajanderi; provenance trials; half-sib families; heritability; height growth; genetic variation; climatic change

Published in

Silvae Genetica
2011, Volume: 60, number: 5, pages: 165-177