Main content area

Reconstitution of a lost forest tree population: A case study of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.)

Chałupka, W., Mejnartowicz, L., Lewandowski, A.
Forest ecology and management 2008 v.255 no.7 pp. 2103-2108
forest trees, Picea abies, seeds, orchards, germplasm, germplasm conservation, provenance, genetic variation, allozymes, genetic markers, natural regeneration, population genetics, Poland
A population of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) from southern Poland, named Kolonowskie 0293, exhibited a very high breeding value among 1100 European populations tested in the IUFRO 1964/1968 provenance experiment. However, the original mother stand of that population no longer exists. Owing to international cooperative efforts, a reconstituted clonal seed orchard of that population was successfully established to protect the gene pool of the Kolonowskie 0293 population. Genetic analyses were conducted using 24 isozyme marker loci and a high level of genetic variation was found among progeny of the reconstituted 'Kolonowskie' seed orchard in Kórnik, Poland. The observed variation was similar to that of naturally regenerated stands and likely descendants of the lost mother stand of provenance Kolonowskie 0293 found in the original area of seed collection for the IUFRO 1964/1968 experiment. Both the naturally regenerated stand and clonal seed orchard populations had a higher genetic variation than average among populations of Norway spruce from throughout Poland. These findings indicate that the reconstituted 'Kolonowskie' seed orchard as well as the naturally regenerated stands found in the area of seed collection for the IUFRO 1964/1968 experiment should be considered as seed sources for the very adaptable, well-performing population Kolonowskie 0293. Based on the procedure described herein, the effective restoration of any forest tree species population is possible if its progeny is found in sufficient numbers in any experimental trial.