Discovery of Geographically Robust Hybrid Poplar Clones

Neil D. Nelson, William E. Berguson, Bernard G. McMahon, Richard Meilan, Lawrence B. Smart, Fred E. Gouker, Paul Bloese, Raymond Miller, Timothy A. Volk, Meijun Cai, Daniel Buchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hybrid poplar clonal growth in the states (regions) of Minnesota (MN), Indiana (IN), Michigan (MI), and New York (NY) USA was analyzed to discover 10 geographically robust (geo-robust) clones, all P. deltoides x P. nigra (D x N) hybrids previously tested and screened in MN, that were broadly adapted across latitudinal and longitudinal ranges of 9 and 20 degrees, respectively. The clonal effect for growth explained 25 to 36 % of the total variance, 2.5-4.1 times the clone x site interaction. Clone explained 24 to 46 % of total variation in canker occurrence on two sites. Genetic gain in growth was calculated relative to commercial check clones. Genetic gain in growth of geo-robust clones exceeded that of random clones by 24 to 44 %. Geo-robust clones and the best clones on each site were not significantly different on the MN sites, but best clones outperformed geo-robust clones on the other sites by 10 to 39 % genetic gain. Geo-robust clones grew faster than commercial check clones on all but the MI site. The reduction in genetic gain for growth due to using broadly adapted clones relative to the best clones has to be compared to the additional costs and benefits of multiple breeding zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalSilvae Genetica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Neil D. Nelson et al., published by Sciendo 2019.


  • Populus
  • breeding zones
  • clonal adaptability
  • genotype x environment interaction
  • hybrid poplars


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