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Clonal composites: An alternative to improve the sustainability of production in eucalypt forests

Rezende, Gabriel Dehon Sampaio Peçanha, Lima, José Luis, Dias, Donizete da Costa, Lima, Bruno Marco de, Aguiar, Aurélio Mendes, Bertolucci, Fernando de Lellis Garcia, Ramalho, Magno Antônio Patto
Forest ecology and management 2019 v.449 pp. 117445
Eucalyptus, clones, environmental factors, forests, plantations
The use of eucalypt clonal composites framed by improved, phenotypically similar and unrelated clones may be an important strategy to help breeders prevent commercial eucalypt plantations from unpredictable future adverse events, as well as to promote sustainable productivity gains. The present study was conducted to test this hypothesis by comparing the growth (MAI) at ages three to four years of a significant number of clones in clonal composite (CC) and monoclonal (MC) typologies under distinct environmental conditions, both at experimental and commercial scales. The CC presented MAI performance superior to MC in both experimental (9.8%) and commercial (6.3%) conditions. In each region, different clones respond differently to allo (CC) and auto-competition (MC), but most of them (73%) performed better in CC. Furthermore, CC commercial plantations presented growth uniformity, at different ages, similar to MC plantations, as well as lower genetic vulnerability given by the proportion of replanting before the end of the rotation age due to biotic or abiotic damage agents.