Abstract: Accurate prediction of genetic potential and response to selection in breeding requires knowledge of genetic parameters for important selection traits. In this study, we estimated genetic parameters for wood properties in Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon) grown in Malawi. Data on wood properties and growth traits were collected from six families of Pinus kesiya at the age of 30. The results show that wood density had a higher genetic control (h2 = 0.595 ± 0.055) than wood stiffness (h2 = 0.559 ± 0.038) and wood strength (h2 = 0.542 ± 0.091). The genetic correlation among wood quality traits was significantly moderate (0.464 ± 0.061) to high (0.735 ± 0.025). The predicted genetic response indicated that selection for wood density at 10% selection intensity would increase stiffness and strength by 12.6% and 8.85%, respectively. The genetic correlations between growth and wood quality traits were moderately unfavourable. However, sufficient variation exists within the breeding population to select individuals with both good growth rate and high wood quality traits. It is therefore suggested that all trees with both diameter at breast height (DBH) greater than 32.0 cm and density greater than 0.593 g/cm3 must be selected in order to increase the efficiency of the breeding programme. However, in the long term, it is recommended that the best selection strategy would be to develop a multiple-trait selection index. The selection index should be developed using optimal index weights for the advanced Pinus kesiya breeding programme in Malawi.
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