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Trait variations in 28-year-old teak (Tectona grandis) provenance field trials in Ghana, West Africa

Adu-Bredu S., Ofori D., Ræbild A., Hansen J.K., Koffi A., Vigneron P., Kjær E.. 2019. Southern Forests, 81 (1) : p. 57-68.

DOI: 10.2989/20702620.2018.1490993

Stem straightness, axis persistence, presence/absence of protuberant buds and epicormics, diameter and height have profound influence on timber quality and volume of teak (Tectona grandis). Provenance trials of teak were established in the 1970s in Ghana, as part of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Series of Provenance Trials, with the view of selecting teak germplasm for sites with specific environmental conditions. Two field trials were located in dry semi-deciduous (dry) and moist semi-deciduous (moist) ecological zones of Ghana. They consisted of 13 provenances, including four landraces each from Ghana and Indonesia, and two and three provenances from India and Laos, respectively. Trees were assessed at 9, 17 and 28 years to (1) quantify the potential variation in quality and timber volume production, (2) examine possibilities for determining early selection of parameters of superior provenances and (3) select provenances for sites with particular environmental conditions. Production traits were higher on the moist site than the dry site. Mean height was 23.2 and 20.2 m tree-1, stem cross-sectional area at breast height was 0.0896 and 0.0474 m2 tree-1, and stem volume was 0.75 and 0.34 m3 tree-1 for the moist and dry sites, respectively. Nilambur provenance from moist India had the highest mean stem straightness score of 19% above average, whereas Savannakhet from Laos had the best protuberant bud score with 18% of the trees above average. Indonesian landraces performed better in the dry zone, whereas provenances from India and Laos performed better in the moist zone. Phenotypic correlations between age 9 and 28 years were moderate (r 0.54¿0.90) to high (r > 0.90) for production and qualitative characteristics, indicating feasibility of early assessment for identification of superior provenances. Nilambur and Savannakhet II provenances proved to be favourable choices for the moist zone, whereas the Temandsang provenance from Indonesia was found to be the best choice for the dry site.

Mots-clés : tectona grandis; phénotype; provenance; variation génétique; ghana

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