Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Towards a sustainable productive Douglas-fur forest of high quality raw material

Initial work on the project involved management and the production of an inventory of Douglas-fir genetic resources in Europe involving the evolution of genetic diversity after transfer to Europe and after natural regeneration. Protocols for the marker systems were devised. Additional systems are to be tested. Seven provenances have been chosen for the genetic isozyme analyses. The European database of Douglas-fir genetic resources has been extended as has the progeny test network. To create in western Europe a broad base population for a long term Douglas-fir breeding programme. Work is being carried out on exchange of seed lots, seedling growing in nursery, progeny test establishment in Europe and synthesis of the European common Douglas-fir. A questionnaire was sent to all participants to collect information on the measurements already made or planned in the framework. A common protocol of measurements was decided, with site descriptors including climatic and soil characteristics. Data concerned height, forking, stem flexibility, branch angle, branch density and date of flushing. A study was initiated concerning growth pattern and frost tolerance in a Phytotron on 6 contrasting provenance seed lots. One provenance (Forks), shows a slower growth in height than the other varieties. Full sib families and clones, contrasted for growth pattern and forking ability were identified. Data were collected on three trials with different genetic material (open pollinated progenies). Characters assessed concerned forking and polycyclism. A study of wood properties showed that the main problem with Douglas-fir for peeling and plywood ability is the heterogeneity of within-ring density traits. Another problem is the moisture content and the impregnation of wood after steaming. A method was developed to produce thermomechanical pulp at laboratory scale. Finally, methods were designed to improve the quantity, quality and efficient utilization of well adapted Douglas fir planting stock (seeds or cuttings) in order to assist Europe becoming self-sufficient.

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