Dr Moller visits Mondi at Mountain Home, Hilton

Post authored by Dr Leandra Moller

Dr Moller recently visited Mondi at Mountain Home, Hilton to quantify photosynthetic parameters of the Eucalyptus grandis common garden field trial.

The natural distribution of Eucalyptus grandis ranges all the way from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales, Australia, which confers this species the ability to grow under a wide range of climatic conditions. Yet, differences are seen between the growth, disease resistance and wood properties of E. grandis across families and provenance.

To understand this variation, an E. grandis common garden trial has been established at Mondi’s Mountain Home, KZN, where approximately 100 families are being screened for their disease resistance, genetics (spearheaded by Prof Zander Myburg at FABI, University of Pretoria) and growth.

Figure 1. View enroute to Mondi Mountain Home, Hilton.

In addition to these screenings, Dr Moller has visited Mondi Mountain Home this week to measure the stomatal conductance and leaf chlorophyll fluorescence with the LI-COR Li-600 porometer/ fluorometer (fondly known as Pacman in the EucXylo group) of the trial, as it is already evident that the families differ in their growth and disease resistance.

Figure 2. Images showing the variation in growth and disease resistance in the E. grandis common garden trial.

The measurements were performed with Pacman in such a manner that all trees in the different families and provenances were measured over the span of the day, so to detect photosynthetic differences between them.

Figure 3. Pacman in action.

Dr Moller had a lovely visit to Hilton and would like to thank Prof Myburg, Ms Monique Maartens and the Mondi team for their assistance in the field this week.

Figure 4. Prof Myburg (left), Ms Maartens (2nd from right) and Dr Moller (right) with the Mondi (Ms Izette Greyling and Mr Izwe Dlomo) team.

Now that the measurements are done, we are excited to analyse the data in collaboration with Mondi and Prof Myburg!

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