New Zealand Journal of Forestry Volume 60 Number 1 May 2015
A Genetics and Tree Improvement theme illustrates the gains made since those first plantings of the old crop and the potential for the future. The research programmes of the Radiata Pine Breeding Company, with its priority target of speeding up the breeding cycle and of Scion for breeding species other than radiata, are described. Varietal forestry and its benefits are explored as are the forestry applications of genomic technologies. The genome sequencing of Radiata pine is presented in an every-persons guide, while tree quantitative genetics is similarly explained without the mathematics. There is a plea on the need to conserve wide genetic diversity. The Last Word concludes that the New Zealand forest industry must grapple with these new tree breeding technologies to keep competitive.
Two further papers describe the single-tree selection system Target Diameter Harvesting, and semi-automated tree-counts from airborne LiDAR. The editorial comments that there is a gap developing in the programme for new research Permanent Sample Plots, due to a short-sighted view that PSPs with silvicultural treatments different to current practice are no longer needed.