Maternal and carryover effects on early growth of Eucalyptus globulus
Maternal and nonmaternal reciprocal effects were compared with nuclear genetic and carryover effects using a diallel mating amongst eight Eucalyptus globulus Labill. wild parents from northeastern and southern Tasmania races. Seed mass exhibited a significant maternal effect, increasing seed germinative capacity but not germination rate. After accounting for variation in seed mass, both germinative capacity and germination rate exhibited significant reciprocal effects, but these were nonmaternal in origin. Rapid germination and large seeds resulted in significantly larger seedlings in the nursery, but these carryover effects diminished with age. In contrast, the expression of genetic effects increased with age. Significant additive genetic variation was detected for growth by age 3 years and significant reciprocal differences were detected at the race level after 2 years in field trials. If common, such reciprocal effects could bias genetic parameters and impact on the choice of cross-direction in deployment programs. Failure to account for carryover effects in genetic analyses may inflate estimates of genetic variation for growth during early stages of the life cycle.