Relationship between inbreeding depression and inbreeding coefficient in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster)

Theor Appl Genet. 1996 Mar;92(3-4):347-56. doi: 10.1007/BF00223678.


The relationship between inbreeding depression and inbreeding coefficient (F) for several important traits was investigated in an 11-year trial of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). Five levels of inbreeding (F=0; 0.125; 0.25; 0.5; 0.75) were obtained in a mating design involving ten plus-trees, or their progenies, as parents (total of 51 families). For F=0.75, the mean inbreeding depressions were 27% for height, 37% for circumference at breast height (63% for bole volume), 23% for basal straightness (better straightness of the inbred trees), and 89% for female fertility (number of cones). Large differences were observed among inbred families for the same level of inbreeding. The evolution of depression with F was more or less linear, depending on the traits. Significant differences among F-levels appeared very early for height (from 5-years of age). Inbreeding depression was much more expressed during unfavorable years than during favorable years for yearly height growth. When compared with other Pinus species, maritime pine appears to be less affected by inbreeding, especially for the percentage of filled seeds and general vigor. A reduced genetic load in maritime pine may result from the evolutionary history of the species and its scattered distribution.