Genetic effects on early stand development of improved loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings
This study was conducted to assess the effect of genotype on the early performance of improved loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings planted on the University of Arkansas at Monticello School Forest located in southeast Arkansas.We used a split-plot design consisting of two spacing treatments (3.05 m × 3.05 m and 3.05 m × 4.27 m) randomly assigned as main plots and three loblolly pine genotypes (Arkansas Foresty Commission 3-Star half-sibling seedling, Cellfor® clone Q3802, and Cellfor® L3791) randomly assigned to the subplots. Survival, ground line diameter, height, and flush length were collected. Genetics had a significant effect on survival, height, ground-line diameter, and flush length. Cellfor clone L3791 showed greater growth (diameter and height) and survival compared to other seedlings. Survival and growth were not affected by the spacing as expected, considering the early stage of stand development. The high growth and survival of the clonal stock suggest that productivity can be enhanced through selecting the improved genotype.