The growth dynamics of various provenances of grand fir (Abies grandis Lindl.) under mountain conditions of the Beskid Sądecki
The purpose of this study was to determine the variation of the height growth dynamics of various grand fir (Abies grandis Lindl.) provenances growing under conditions of the Beskid Sądecki mountain range of the Carpathians (southern Poland). The grand fir provenance experimental area is situated in the Krynica Experimental Forest at altitude of 700–740 m, i.e. in the middle part of the lower mountain zone. Seven provenances of grand fir from regions I and II of its natural range, as distinguished by Müller were tested.
The analysis of the growth dynamics of individual partial populations of grand fir was done on the basis of tree height measurements carried out during seven study periods (1983–2006), i.e. when trees were 7, 11, 14, 18, 22, 26, and 30 years old. The effect of the provenance (genotype) and replication (environment) on the tested trait was determined on the basis of the analysis of variance and the Snedecor’s F-test. The interaction effect „genotype (provenance) x years of observation (age)” – G × Eage for height of respective provenances was analyzed on the basis of ranking positions, and estimation of the reactivity of tested provenances according to the classification of Gallais.
The results of this study showed a significant diversification of tested provenances in respect of the growth dynamics. Basically, the partial populations from Müller’s region I, especially the provenance 040 from Salmon River and the provenance 005 from Bear Mountain, were the best growing ones, reaching height parameters above the experimental mean. Also grand fir of the provenance 007 from Eagle Creek (Müller’s region II) belonged to this group. Height growth of grand fir partial populations tested under mountain conditions of the Beskid Sądecki was in the first place determined by the genotype. The estimation of the interaction effect (G × Eage) indicated a considerable stability of the height growth dynamics of grand fir of extreme values of this trait. This makes, especially in the case of these provenances, the effective early stage selection possible. The growth dynamics of grand fir provenances tested during this study increased with increase of latitude of their mother stands from south to north. When trees are 14 years old it is possible to forecast, with high probability, the rate of growth of analyzed provenances during subsequent years. This found its reflection in statistically significant coefficients of autocorrelation. Grand fir stands on Vancouver Island in Canada, and stands in selected localities of western slopes of the Cascade Mountains in state of Washington should constitute the seed base for the introduction of this species in mountain forests of Poland.
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