Scientists investigate on seed transfer in Central Europe
Forests are providers of many ecosystem services. They are important reserves of biodiversity, cultural heritage for recreation and offer employment in rural areas. Wood is an essential renewable resource and source of bioenergy. But climate change is endangering the diversity of today’s forests in Central Europe. Thus climate change adaptation and protection of the environment are highly relevant.
The natural adaption to changing temperatures and extreme weather events are challenging for forest ecosystems due to long production periods. Adaptive silvicultural practices are required to sustain the forests’ ecological and economic functions. A promising strategy is planting alternative tree species or provenances to utilising the tree species’ inherent adaptive capacity.
In Central Europe approximately 900 million seedlings of major tree species are being planted annually. Knowing about the genetic varieties of forest reproductive material is essential to guarantee a long lasting vitality and stability of our ecosystems.
Trend-setting solutions The SUSTREE project brings together experts on forest provenance research and breeding from eight institutions and six countries of Central Europe. Objective of the transnational collaboration is to identify endangered forest genetic diversity and to discuss cross-boundary seed transfer. The goal is to ensure an utilisation of the best genetic material fit for climate change in the forests of the region.