Breeding and selection programs for black walnut, black cherry and northern red oak
Forest geneticists are working to influence the quality of hardwood trees by developing populations with superior growth and timber characteristics, including straighter boles and reduced branching.
Developing superior rootstocks is also in progress. Improved rootstocks may be more vigorous, increasing resistance to stresses and disease. Rootstocks could be created which grow under more varied conditions, potentially increasing the optimal range of fine hardwood species. Work is also underway on butternut conservation genetics in order to determine the impact of butternut canker on genetic diversity and to identify disease resistant genes.
Population genetics research seeks to understand the link between genetic relationships and physical distance in the hardwood forest. The role that increased forest fragmentation and harvesting plays in genetic diversity and its effects on variability are important ecological issues.
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Last Modified: 12/21/2007