Adaptability and stability of novel eucalypt species and provenances across environments in Brazil at two assessment

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2021-01-01

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The potential effects of climate change plus the expansion of eucalypt plantations to less favorable sites, beyond those where they are currently planted, requires exploring novel eucalypt germplasm to identify taxa less vulnerable to biotic and abiotic stress. To improve plant adaptation to new environments, the first step is breeding programs and/or forming base populations of new and different species. But, to achieve this, what species should be chosen from the almost 1000 existing eucalypt species? To tackle this question, this work evaluated various eucalypt species from different provenances at two assessment in five environments to verify (1) the need for environmental stratification; (2) the best species and provenances per environment, and (3) environmental stability, adaptability, and changes between assessment. The mortality and diameter at breast height of 27 eucalypt taxa originating from wild populations and seed orchards were evaluated. To evaluate the data, we took a factor analytic mixed modelling approach to define mega-environments (groups of similar sites) and characterize the interactions of these with the selected taxa. The analyses allowed both quantitative and graphical identification of optimal combinations of species and sites. Promising taxa identified include Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata, C. henryi, Eucalyptus longirostrata, E. major and E. urophylla. We place the results of this process in the context of ongoing domestication and breeding of new taxa for challenging sites in Brazil.

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New Forests.

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