THE REGISTRATION OF SALIX CULTIVARS
The broad physiological and ecological amplitude of Salix (willows) along with their adaptation to a wide range of climates make them suitable for cultivation around the world. The scope and importance of global Salix cultivation are currently increasing as Salix taxa are becoming increasingly more important in biomass plantation research, hybridization studies and commercial enterprises. Relatively low intensity of domestication influences, a short generation time, and a relatively small amount of DNA yet wide genetic variation, have made Salix attractive for genetic studies. Over the past decades improvements in yields and tolerances to biotic and abiotic stresses have been achieved through genetic improvement. A considerable number of hybrids have been produced that offer higher yields and exhibit improved pest resistance. Intensive breeding programs need to be maintained in order to meet the challenges of future willow cultivation initiatives. Consequently, the exploitation of the wide biological variations within Salix through clonal selection and hybridization is expanding (Kuzovkina et al., 2008). Today, many research centers worldwide are involved in Salix research where rigorous breeding programs are continuously producing new and improved clones. They include: Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, and Svalöf Weibull AB, Sweden; Chilean Forest Research Institute in Santiago, Chile; HortResearch in Palmerston North, New Zealand; Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Nauni, Solan, India; Forestry Academy of Jiangsu in Nanjing, China; and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, USA. International collaboration and clonal exchange both stem from a general willingness to share germplasm. Willow breeding is not a national or continental issue, but a global issue (Verwijst, 2001). As new clones enter commercial production, recording their characteristics in a clear and standard manner is an important international goal. However, Salix is among the woody plant genera for which an International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) has not yet been appointed. Before the cultivars records become more complicated and difficult to interpret, the establishment of a formal registrar for willows is proposed. One of the Food and Agriculture Organizations technical statutory bodies, The International Poplar Commission, promotes the conservation and utilization of species in the Salicaceae and their contribution to sustainable forestry and rural development, and holds the ICRA for Populus. It is proposed that the International Poplar Commission will also become the ICRA for Salix cultivars. This will facilitate an effective and complete compilation of the Salix Cultivars Checklist along with new records and contribute to the nomenclatural stability of cultivated Salix. Literature Cited Kuzovkina, Y.A., Weih, M., Romero, M., Charles, J., Hurst, S., Karp, A., Labrecque, M., McIvor, I., Singh, N.B., Smart, L., Teodorescu, T., Trybush, S. and Volk, T. 2008. Salix: Botany and Global Horticulture. Hort. Reviews 34. (In press.) Verwijst, T. 2001. Willows: An underestimated resource for environment and society. Forestry Chronicle 77:281-285.
Kuzovkina, J. (2008). THE REGISTRATION OF SALIX CULTIVARS. Acta Hortic. 799, 141-141