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Improving wood stiffness through microfibril angle

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This project investigated ways of breeding radiata pine to improve solid wood stiffness through changes in microfibril angle (MfA). Earlier work suggests that wood stiffness depends on microfibril angle as well as wood density, so breeding to improve wood stiffness would be more effective if MfA and density were each optimised through breeding. The project determined the levels of genetic control, the amount of variation and the genetic interrelationships between MfA and density for different ages within radiata pine trees at breast height. As a result recommendations about how to breed effectively to improve wood stiffness will be possible.

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A. Colin Matheson (CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products), Heidi S. Dungey (Forest Research).

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