Variation in growth traits and survival of landraces of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. in the Ethiopian highlands

P. Guzman, L. Gil, W. Tadesse


Aim of study: Eucalyptus globulus Labill. is the most planted tree species in the Ethiopian highlands due to its potential to satisfy the increasing wood demand of the population. The objectives of this study are to assess the variation in growth traits and survival among E. globulus landraces and clones and to evaluate correlations between growth traits on saplings established in the field.

Area of study: The study was performed in the central highlands of Ethiopia.

Material and Methods: A landrace trial with Ethiopian seedlings and Spanish cuttings (Sancho and Tinto clones) of E. globulus was carried out. Root collar diameter, height and survival were evaluated on saplings one year after outplanted in the field.

Main results: The Spanish landrace showed an improved field performance with 35% higher root collar diameter, 35% taller saplings and 27% higher survival rates as compared to the Ethiopian plants. Sancho clone attained 10% higher root collar diameter than Tinto clone. Strong positive correlation between root collar diameter and height for all saplings was observed (r=0.8785).

Research highlights: The present study can be considered as a starting point to implement a breeding program for E. globulus, which is nowadays of great importance in Ethiopia. The introduction of a new Spanish landrace may contribute to broadening the genetic base of this species in Ethiopia. Further tree breeding efforts with E. globulus should be undertaken to raise such genetic base and to increase the productivity of eucalypt plantations in the Ethiopian highlands.

Keywords: clone; rural development; tree breeding.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2013223-04130