iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Forecasting the field performance of Austrian pine seedlings using morphological attributes

Vladan Ivetić (1)   , Steven Grossnickle (2), Mirko Škorić (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 99-107 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1722-009
Published: Oct 13, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

This study examined whether the morphological attributes of Austrian pine (Pinus nigra ssp. nigra var. nigra Arnold) seedlings measured in the nursery could be used to forecast subsequent field performance over an extended time frame. Seedlings from three seed sources were produced in two types of containers and in bareroot seedbeds. These seedlings were measured for an array of morphological attributes (height, HT; root collar diameter, RCD; shoot height/diameter ratio, HD; shoot and root dry weight, SDW and RDW, respectively; shoot:root ratio, S:R; number of the first order lateral roots, FOLR; and Dickson quality index, DQI) and then planted at two sample plots with different soil depth. Seedling attributes were tested against field survival and growth in the first three years and growth in the twelfth year for their ability to forecast field performance. Correlations between morphological attributes and field performance were stronger for the plot with shallower soil, having potentially drier conditions. HT, HD, and S:R were the best attributes for forecasting seedling survival. HD was the most reliable attribute to forecast growth during the first three years after planting, defining the largest proportion of variation for growth (r2=0.36 to 0.86). Morphological attributes were better able to forecast field performance in the first three years at the shallow soil site, with FOLR the best single morphological variable. HT, DIA, and RDW were the best attributes to forecast growth during the first three years after planting on both sites. Morphological attributes were not able to forecast growth 12 years after planting.


Seedling Quality, Seedling Performance, Reforestation, Pinus nigra

Authors’ address

Vladan Ivetić
Mirko Škorić
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Forestry, Kneza Viseslava 1, 11030 Belgrade (Serbia)
Steven Grossnickle
NurseryToForest Solutions, 1325 Readings Drive, Sidney V8L 5K7, British Columbia (Canada)

Corresponding author



Ivetić V, Grossnickle S, Škorić M (2016). Forecasting the field performance of Austrian pine seedlings using morphological attributes. iForest 10: 99-107. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1722-009

Academic Editor

Mike Perks

Paper history

Received: May 29, 2015
Accepted: Jun 20, 2016

First online: Oct 13, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 3.83 months

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