Variation in wood density and shrinkage and their relationship to growth of selected young poplar hybrid crosses
Pliura A., Yu Q., Zhang SY., MacKay J., Périnet P., Bousquet J.
Wood density, various shrinkages and several growth traits were measured in two 10-year-old clonal trials at sites of contrasting growth potential. The material studied consisted of 12 clones of three poplar hybrid crosses, Populus deltoides X P. nigra, P. trichocarpa X P. deltoides, and P. maximowiczii X P. balsamifera, as well as P. deltoides. Wood density and longitudinal and radial wood shrinkages were significantly lower at the St-Ours than at the Windsor site, by 6.7, 46.7, and 14.9%, respectively, while growth rate was increased. The differences among hybrid crosses were significant for all growth traits and wood properties except for radial and tangential shrinkages of juvenile wood. P. deltoides had the highest wood density of 363.2 kg/m 3 , whereas P. maximowiczii X P. balsamifera wood had the lowest density of 299.8 kg/m 3 . The differences among hybrid crosses were significant for growth traits, primarily due to the fast growth of P. trichocarpa X P. deltoides and slow growth of P. deltoides. Among the wood properties measured, only tangential wood shrinkage exhibited clear radial intertree changes with cambial age. The tangential wood shrinkage increased from pith to mid-diameter and then started to decrease outward, with each hybrid showing a different pattern of variation. Phenotypic clonal mean correlations amo ng growth traits and wood density were weakly negative. Correlations among growth traits and radial wood shrinkage ranged from weakly to strongly negative. Longitudinal shrinkage displayed strong negative correlations with radial and tangential shrinkages. Negative correlations found between wood density and longitudinal shrinkage and positive correlations between density and both radial and tangential shrinkages suggest that selection for high wood density may lead to increased transverse wood shrinkage but decreased longitudinal shrinkage. Copyright © 2005 by the Society of American Foresters.