iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Genetic control of intra-annual height growth in 6-year-old Norway spruce progenies in Latvia

Roberts Matisons (1)   , Pauls Zeltinš (1), Darius Danusevičius (2), Baiba Džerina (1), Iveta Desaine (1), Aris Jansons (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 214-219 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2777-012
Published: Apr 25, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Coupling growth with periods of favourable weather conditions minimizes risks of frost damage and maximizes annual height increment. The phenology of the formation of height increment is therefore a trait related to the adaptability of trees to annual weather fluctuations. Strong genetic control of the timing of the onset and cessation of shoot elongation has been reported for Norway spruce, but little is known about its fluctuations that occur during the growth period. The strength of the genetic control of the height growth rate was assessed for young (6 years old) Norway spruce progenies originating from six open-pollinated stands from two local provenance regions. In 2010, the length of the growing period for the studied trees was ca. 60 days. Trees from the more continental provenance region, which had later onset and cessation of height growth (by ca. 2.5 days), exhibited slightly lower increments (by ca. 1%). Accordingly, the provenance region had a significant effect on height growth at the beginning and end of the growing period. Nevertheless, considerable genetic control of the growth rate was found throughout the entire growing period (particularly at the beginning and cessation, ha2 ≥ 0.20), except for a week-long interval around mid-summer (ha2 = 0.07). Similarly, the coefficient of additive genetic variation suggested that breeding could be applied for the improvement of height growth intensity throughout the season. The phenotypic correlations between weekly growth rates and tree height (before growth) were mostly non-significant, suggesting varying mechanisms of control, hence possibility for simultaneous improvement of the traits by breeding.


Height Growth Rate, Growing Period, Heritability, Picea abies, Local Populations

Authors’ address

Roberts Matisons
Pauls Zeltinš
Baiba Džerina
Iveta Desaine
Aris Jansons
Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, LV2169 Salaspils (Latvia)
Darius Danusevičius
Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Ecology, Studentu 11, LT53361 Kaunas (Lithuania)

Corresponding author

Roberts Matisons


Matisons R, Zeltinš P, Danusevičius D, Džerina B, Desaine I, Jansons A (2019). Genetic control of intra-annual height growth in 6-year-old Norway spruce progenies in Latvia. iForest 12: 214-219. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2777-012

Academic Editor

Andrea Piotti

Paper history

Received: Mar 06, 2018
Accepted: Feb 06, 2019

First online: Apr 25, 2019
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2019
Publication Time: 2.60 months

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