Genetic diversity of Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (Kelampayan)
Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (kelampayan) is a large, deciduous, and fast growing tree species that gives early economic returns within 8-10 years. It is one of the best raw materials for plywood industry. The wood can also be used as packing cases, panel boards, picture frames, pencils, toys, sports goods and various other products. Leaves and bark are used in medicine. Besides, it is also excellent as a shade tree for dipterocarps line planting. Due to its multipurpose function and utility, the species is favoured in plantation programmes. Since the supply of planting materials of forest species become a major contribution on the success of forest plantation programme, there is an urgent need to come up with strategy to cater the current demand of the improved planting materials and at the same time come up with more comprehensive tree improvement programme with a long-term strategy in continuously producing genetically improved planting materials. The establishment of SPA is the most effective way of producing improved seed in a large quantity to meet the immediate demand of planting materials. SPA is a stand where the poor phenotypes are roughed leaving good trees or called plus trees for production of improved seed. These improved seed can be used for establishing forest tree plantation and seed orchards. Currently, the selection of plus tree in any seed production areas (SPAs) is based on the phenotype characters without consideration of genetic quality of the selected plus trees for seed production. The seed produce is poor in terms of genetic quality with narrow gene pool. Thus, there are some prerequisites need to be addressed before embarking onto establishment of SPAs. The most important one is the knowledge on genetic quality of the selected plus trees for seed production as the genetic quality of the seed produce is more important than the quantity. As reported elsewhere, local collection for local planting will do nothing to improve local genetic diversity if a very limited genetic base is used for collection. If used widely, seed from poor collections or a poorly constructed seed production area may actually reduce genetic diversity and, over time, make the plantings less resilient to changes in the environment. Hence, research is directed at determining the genetic diversity of this commercially important plantation species using molecular DNA markers, i.e. RAPD and ISSR markers for more accurate means of plus tree selection, provenance trials, and establishment of seed production areas (SPAs) from natural populations in tropical forest reserve.