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Genotypic variation in response to low boron in eucalypt clones

Konsaeng, S., Sritharathikhun, N., Lordkaew, S., Dell, B. and Rerkasem, B. (2012) Genotypic variation in response to low boron in eucalypt clones. Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science, 74 (3). pp. 159-166.

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Eucalypts are increasingly important in the tropics for meeting growing demand for timber, wood chips, paper pulp and biofuel. Many new plantations are planted on low boron (B) soils, with adverse effects on plant growth and productivity. Two experiments in sand culture with different levels of added B, from 0 to 10 μM B, examined the effect of B deficiency on growth, wood yield and morphology of fibres of three commercially available eucalypt clones: K7 (Eucalyptus camaldulensis × E. deglupta), K51 (E. brassiana × E. grandis) and K57 (E. camaldulensis). In plant height, dry weight and wood production, K7 was more tolerant of B deficiency, but K57 and K51 were more responsive to increasing B. At the level of B that depressed growth by up to 54% and wood yield by up to 65%, no significant effect of B deficiency was observed on fibre morphology. However, as the wood:shoot ratio in K51 and K57 increased with increasing B, there is a possibility that B has a direct effect on wood production in some genotypes, in addition to an indirect effect via better growth. These results indicate that attention to B nutrition in eucalypt plantations would be beneficial to plant growth and productivity before effects of B on individual wood fibres becomes detectable. Selection for B-efficient genotypes could be useful for plantations on low B soils, and the full potential of sites where B is not limiting could be better realised with B-responsive genotypes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Sustainable Ecosystems Research Institute
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2012 Copyright NISC (Pty) Ltd.
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