iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Verification of new Populus nigra L. clone improvement based on their performance over three rotations

Katerina Novotná   , Petra Štochlová, Vojtech Benetka

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 185-193 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3171-013
Published: May 12, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

Populus nigra is an important autochthonous woody plant that can be grown as a renewable energy source. The possibility of its improvement through intraspecific hybridization was tested. Differences in biomass production, growth parameters, Melampsora larici-populina rust resistance and drought tolerance were evaluated among 19 intraspecific hybrids from controlled crosses, 2 clones selected from natural populations and the “MAX 4” clone (P. nigra × P. maximowiczii). These P. nigra clones from controlled crosses were chosen from more than 2000 hybrid individuals whose parents were selected from natural populations in the Czech Republic. A field trial was set up in Pruhonice, Czech Republic (320 m a.s.l., 591 mm rainfall annually, mean annual temperature of 9.5 °C). The planting density was 6061 plants ha-1, and the plants were coppiced three times at 3-year intervals. The trial was irrigated only during its establishment. Among the clones, significant differences were found in all the evaluated traits over three rotations. An average dry matter yield of the best clone “MAX 4” was 12.8 t ha-1 yr-1 over three harvests. The best black poplar clone reached up to 9.4 t ha-1 yr-1 in three harvests. Rust resistance was constant over 9 years and high for the three P. nigra clones (two from controlled crosses and one from natural populations). Moreover, the best P. nigra clones from controlled crosses showed higher drought tolerance than the “MAX 4” clone. Breeding progress was confirmed, and most of the P. nigra clones from controlled crosses performed better than the clones selected from natural populations. The trial validated the suitability of natural populations for use as gene sources for intraspecific hybridization and as sources of clones with traits comparable with those of interspecific clones. These new P. nigra clones can replace allochthonous clones in areas where autochthonous P. nigra populations are threatened by introgression.


Plant Breeding, Black Poplar, Intraspecific Hybridization, Short Rotation Coppice Culture, Melampsora larici-populina, Biomass Production, Tree Regeneration

Authors’ address

Katerina Novotná 0000-0002-4777-7162
Petra Štochlová 0000-0003-3537-4478
Vojtech Benetka
Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, Publ. Res. Inst., Kvetnové námestí 391, CZ-252 43 Pruhonice (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Katerina Novotná


Novotná K, Štochlová P, Benetka V (2020). Verification of new Populus nigra L. clone improvement based on their performance over three rotations. iForest 13: 185-193. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3171-013

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: Jun 19, 2019
Accepted: Mar 14, 2020

First online: May 12, 2020
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2020
Publication Time: 1.97 months

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