DISTRIBUTION OF OREGON PINE
Pseudotsuga menziesii, known as Oregon pine or Douglas fir, is an species of fast growth, with high quality wood and adaptable to different climatic conditions, so it presents a great interest in reforestations for timber production. It has its origin in western of North America and it occupies a large area that goes from Canada to Mexico on a journey of over 4500 km, and from the Pacific coast to the slopes of the most rocky mountains. Of the two varieties present in this area, the variety menziesii, which lives mainly in British Columbia (Canada) and in the states of California, Washington and Oregon (USA), it is the one that has a greater interest for reforestation in Spain, with the aim of timber production.
Distribution of Oregon pine in North America (Department of Agriculture of the United States)
Distribution of Oregon pine introduced in Spain (Third National Forest Inventory)
It has been introduced in the north of Spain over more than 40 years ago, carrying out principal repopulation in ‘País Vasco’, ‘Navarra’, ‘La Rioja’, ‘Galicia’ and ‘Cataluña’. The extension dedicated to this crop in the north is approximately 30,000 hectares. In the process of reforestation, it is of a high importance the plan of improvement that began in the ‘Centro Forestal de Lourizán’, with the establishment of a wide network of trials with seeds, controlled and selected by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
In addition, the seeds selected by IUFRO were distributed in 33 countries, so we have a wide information of use. In Europe, the Oregon pine is the main species of reforestation, with distributions that occupy more than 300.000 hectares in France, and around 15.000 hectares in Belgium, 16.000 in the Netherlands, 152.000 in Germany and 49.000 in Britain.
The main studies focused on selecting the best American provenances adapted to the climatic conditions of northern Spain, for the establishment of seedbed orchards and reforestation in this area. The breeding program began in 1978 with the introduction of seeds mainly from the Pacific coast of North America, from the collection of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). Later, there was introduced more provenances, conforming the three collections present in the ‘Centro Forestal de Lourizán’: IUFRO, USDA and UE.
‘IUFRO’ PROVENANCES COLLECTION
‘IUFRO’ Provenances of American populations
‘IUFRO’ provenance trials and seedbed orchards
It consists of 89 provenances representing various stands of the North American Pacific coast area from Canada to Mexico. There were planted in 16 provenance trials in northern Spain between the years 1978 and 1981, although at the moment, only half remain: two located in the province of ‘Ourense’, one in ‘Leon’, two in ‘Asturias’, two in ‘Guipúzcua’ and one in ‘Navarra’.
The evaluation of growth parameters at different ages (5, 10 and 15 years) allowed us to characterize the behavior of provenances in our country, to determine the provenances that best suits our conditions, and to recommend provenances for importing seeds. We also observed a high correlation youth-adult, which enables to carry out an early selection without loss of gain, but for this selection we must consider also the behavior of different provenances depending on the places, so we was recommended the provenances with greater stability.
We also carried out the establishment of two seedbed orchards with clones produced from the best provenances, planted in the year 2000 in ‘Lourizán’ (‘Pontevedra’) with 103 clones, and in the year 2002 in ‘Sergude’ (‘Boqueixón’) with 38 clones. In the last years, we have developed a proposal to use some portions of the IUFRO provenance trials network as base material for obtaining seed.
USDA PROVENANCES COLLECTION
‘USDA’ Provenances of American populations
‘USDA’ Provenance trials
This collection is represented by 54 families of various provenances from the Pacific coast in North America, selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Between 1986 and 1996 there were planted 14 different provenance trials in some different areas of Spain.
UE PROVENANCE COLLECTION
Provenance of progenies within American populations UE
Provenance trials- progenies of American populations UE
It consists of 240 families of nine provenances of the northwest United States. Between 1992 and 1998, there was planted a network of trials with a structure of provenances-progenies in eight locations in northern Spain.
Toval-Hernández, G., Vega-Alonso, G., Purto-Arribas, G., Jenkinson, J.L. (1993) Screening Douglas-fir for rapid early growth in common-garden tests inSpain. General Technical Report Pacific Southwest ResearchStation 146, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, USDA, 43 pp.
Zas, R., Merlo, E., Díaz, R., Fernández-López, J. (2003) Stability across sites of Douglas-fir provenances in Northern Spain. Forest Genetics 10(1):71-82
Merlo, E.; Díaz, R.; Zas, R.; Fernández-López, J. (2004) Propuesta de utilización de ensayos de procedencias de Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco como material de base para la obtención de material forestal de reproducción. Investigación Agraria: Sistemas y Recursos Forestales 13(3):492-505
Zas, R., Merlo, E., Díaz, R., Fernández-López, J. (2004). Relative growth trend as an early selection parameter in a Douglas-fir provenance test. Forest Science, 50(4):518-526