We present results from a Populus Regional Testing Program that has been conducted in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan over the past six years. Our objectives have been to: 1) identify highly productive, disease resistant intra- and inter-specific clonal selections and 2) understand patterns of genotype × environment interactions within the region that would, logically, govern commercial deployment of new clones. Clones were developed by breeding and selection programs at the University of Illinois, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, and the USDA Forest Service for experiments established in 1995. We report results of analyses of variance and principal component analyses of tree diameters and estimated above-ground biomass that demonstrate significant genotype main effects and significant genotype × environment interactions. Maximum mean annual above-ground biomass increments have surpassed 16 Mg ha-1 y-1, exceeding previously reported yields of poplars grown under similar conditions in the north-central U.S. We also discuss the breeding and selection of poplars in general with specific attention to regional research needs.
- Genotype × environment interaction
- Multi-trait selection