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Selection for extreme frost resistance


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Cauvin, B and Potts, BM 1991 , 'Selection for extreme frost resistance', paper presented at the Intensive Forestry: The Role of Eucalypts. Proceedings of the IUFRO Symposium, P2.02-01 Productivity of Eucalypts, 2-6 September, Durban, South Africa.

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AFOCEL commenced a breeding programme for Eucalyptus in 1972 after several
tentative species introductions had been undertaken by the Administration Porestiere Francaise.
Introductions of Eucalyptus into France had been stopped previously because of the
exceptionally cold winter of 1956. Interest in eucalypt plantations for pulpwood production
increased following the success of trials established near Toulouse, in the south of France
(Marquestuat et al. 1978.Marien and Cauvin 1984) and was encouraged by more than a
century of growth of eucalypts as ornamentals near the Mediterranean coast. The good growth
rates and survival of species such as Eucalyptusdatrympleana. E. viminalis,E. macarthuriiand
E. nitens as well as the slower growing, but more frost resistant species such as E. gunnii
resulted in the development of an intensive eucalypt breeding programme (Cauvin 1984;
Cauvin et at. 1987) and approximately 400 hectares of industrial plantings of clonal selections
had been established prior to the devastating frost of 1985 (Figure 1).

Up until the winter of 1985,considered as extreme as that of 1956.AFOCEL had
proposed a group of clones for the industrial plantations which principally comprised E. gunnii
x dalrympleana hybrids. These clones represented what, at the time, was considered an
acceptable compromise between vigour and frost resistance given the low probability of
another extreme winter. However, since the frost of 1985 which killed even the more frost
resistant species such as E. gunnii to ground level (potts and Potts 1986). industrial plantings
were stopped and AFOCEL has since concentratedon selection of eucalypt clones for extreme
frost resistance. AFOCEL is selecting close to the natural limits of the frost resistance of the
genus and the challenge is to develop plants which are resistant to relatively infrequent,
unpredictable extreme frost temperatures; yet suitably productive to remain economically
competitive with more traditional species.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Cauvin, B and Potts, BM
Keywords: early,eucalypt,Eucalyptus,Eucalyptus gunnii,forestry,frost,IUFRO,productivity,selection
Additional Information:

BM Potts.

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