Pliūra, A. and Baliuckas, V. 2007. Genetic Variation in Adaptive Traits of Progenies of Lithuanian and Western European Populations of Fraxinus excelsior L.   Baltic Forestry 13(1): 28-38

The study aimed at evaluating genetic features of populations and genetic variation of adaptive traits and RAPD markers of open pollination progenies from Lithuanian and western European populations of Fraxinus excelsior in field trials, established in three different provenance regions of Lithuania. Progenies of the Lithuanian populations had earlier bud flushing and better health condition than the progenies of western European populations in all three trials but tree height was smaller (except the Šilutė population). Genetic effects at population and family levels were significant for all traits studied. Although family variance component was not high reaching from 11.6 to 22.6%, the additive coefficient of genetic variation was high ranging from 30.3 to 36.8% in separate field trials. Genetic variation of adaptive traits and RAPD markers did not correlate in most populations, thus indicating its differing adaptive potential. The Šakiai and Kupiškis populations had high genetic variation of both in adaptive traits and in RAPD markers, while other populations had differing levels of genetic variation in RAPDs and adaptive traits. The genetic changes within population variation across sites were population specific. Such changes can alter adaptation, stability, and competitive ability of newly formed populations in a hardly predictive way.

Key words: populations, progeny, half-sib families, genetic variation, adaptive traits, genotype × environment interaction