Exploiting different scales of variability in a generic Eucalyptus species
This paper tackles a simple question: How should we go about starting a breeding program for a generic eucalypt? I posit that the failure of many attempts is directly related to their lack of focus and small population size, which made very difficult to select and breed trees that showed superiority for multiple-traits. I describe the exploitation of variability at three levels: between populations, within populations and within trees. Taking advantage of within-tree variability would make very early selection for intrinsic wood quality feasible. I use stochastic simulation to study the effect of sample size when dealing with a multiple-trait situation. Arising from this analysis I suggest using a strategy based on openpollination, enriched with controlled crosses making use of low cost techniques like Artificially Induced Protogyny. Finally, the testing scheme would target very specific environments, considering that we ought to be breeding niche species that take account of a particular site/environment and a specific endproduct.