Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Estimation of the system for conservation of forest genetic resources and of the state of forest seed husbandary including new systems for production of seedlings

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.01  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Forest - forestry 

Code Science Field
B430  Biomedical sciences  Sylviculture, forestry, forestry technology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
forest seed, seedlings, seed husbandry, nurseries, reafforestation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29875  Marko Bajc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2016 - 2019  273 
2.  14869  PhD Gregor Božič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  492 
3.  11958  PhD Robert Brus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  722 
4.  15493  PhD Matjaž Čater  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  286 
5.  15492  PhD Andreja Ferreira  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  193 
6.  37939  Domen Finžgar    Technician  2016 - 2019  159 
7.  21242  PhD Tine Grebenc  Plant production  Researcher  2016 - 2019  456 
8.  28855  Melita Hrenko    Technician  2016 - 2019 
9.  26070  PhD Kristjan Jarni  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  95 
10.  33222  PhD Andreja Kavčič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  1,030 
11.  07127  PhD Hojka Kraigher  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2016 - 2019  1,297 
12.  20842  PhD Aleksander Marinšek  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  354 
13.  28590  PhD Mitja Skudnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  327 
14.  38188  PhD Tina Unuk Nahberger  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  42 
15.  24343  PhD Marjana Westergren  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  384 
16.  28401  PhD Peter Železnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2016 - 2019  180 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,847 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,100 
Many national and international strategic documents, such as the Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation in Slovenia (2002), the National Forest Programme (2008), the EU Biodiversity Strategy (2011), The new EU Forest Strategy (2013), Madrid Resolution No. 2 of the Forest Europe process (2015), support and commit Slovenia to the conservation of forest genetic resources at species, among species and within species (genetic) level. Maintaining productive, protective and other ecological as well as social forest functions is based on maintaining the adaptability of forest ecosystems and populations of forest trees to changing environmental conditions, for which active maintenance of the genetic diversity of forest trees is imperative. Genetic diversity is namely the primary source of biodiversity. Today, genetic diversity is endangered by the direct and indirect human impacts of climate change, pollution, fragmentation of forest ecosystems and land use change, measures taken during rejuvenation and reforestation, as well as the availability and quality of forest reproductive material (FRM). Knowledge of biology (e.g. ecology, physiology, flowering, pollination, quantity and quality of fructification, physiology of seed germination) and genetic characteristics of tree species and their provenances is fundamental for the understanding of the adaptive capacity of tree species and their provenances as well as for the successful acquisitioin and production of sufficient quantities of FRM of suitable quality. Changes in the genetic system, and population dynamics due to the changes in the environment and human impact in time can be monitored and quantified only by genetic monitoring. Genetic monitoring provides an early warning system of the upcoming changes, therefore directly supporting management of tree populations and selection of necessary silvicultural measures to maintain resilience of populations and their genetic diversity, as well as smooth acquisition of FRM. For reforestation a large number of species is used in Slovenia. However, provision of sufficient quantities of quality, genetically diverse and to site adapted (for todays and for the future conditions) seed and seedlings from the corresponding region of provenance and altitude zone in accordance with the Law on Forest Reproductive Material is difficult in the short term. Full masts (seed years) happen only every few years, storage of seed is often difficult, partially because of recalcitrant and intermediate seed biology and partly due to lack of effective protocols for seed treatment and storage and/or insufficient facilities for seed storage. Because only small areas are reforested on a yearly basis, we are losing knowledge gained already in the past while following latest trends in nurseries abroad is impeded. In addition, acquisition of seed is extremely difficult for some species and, therefore, particularly for acquisition of small quantities, expensive. Also, raising of seedlings takes three to five years, seed stock often does not meet the requirements as to the origin and the quantities of seed and the diversity of supply is subsequently reduced. Recently, existential situation of important FRM suppliers in Slovenia and shrinking of financing for reforestation of Slovenian forests is distressing. The benefits and opportunities offered by the use of FRM are therefore currently insufficiently exploited. The expected increase of the area of damaged forests due to climate change in the future will lead to an increase in forest area, which may need to be reforested in less favourable environmental conditions. Due to the long life cycle of trees the decisions taken at the time of reforestation today may later "be corrected" only at significant financial and labour inputs. It is therefore imperative to carefully choose the strategy of regeneration (natural, reforestation) and related methods and material used (e.g. the choice of species and provenances of FRM, type
Significance for science
Contribution to the development of science will be carried out mainly by analysing the results of genetic monitoring, i.e. genetic diversity and information value of selected indicators based on the resources used for their calculation. Genetic monitoring is necessary to quantify changes in the genetic system and population dynamics over time. It is an effective tool to assess the adaptation of populations to changes in the environment. Due to its relatively complex design and knowledge needed for its implementation it is still under development and not fully operational in any of the European countries, despite the needs of both forest management and realisation of biodiversity targets of various national and international strategies and resolutions. Slovenia is one of the three countries in which genetic monitoring is being developed and implemented within the framework of the LIFEGENMON project, which represents an opportunity to promote scientific excellence of Slovenia. The development of science can be additionally expected through the new knowledge on bareroot and container seedling growth. Also, the project will contribute to the development of forestry profession by: presentation of a range of tree species and provenances of forest trees for planting and sowing in Slovenia in changing environment initiating professional debates on the upbringing and use of seedlings in containers preparation of tailored strategies of planting and sowing in a changing environment, including the choice of the type of seedlings and their manipulation preparation of guidelines for customized systems of acquisition, processing, storage, testing and use of GRM for selected tree species an action plan to ensure adequate systemic and financial support for the adapted forest management, i.e. implementation of the guidelines in practice.
Significance for the country
With the planned activities, results and the envisaged transfer of knowledge the project will contribute to: growing economic importance of future forests (timber and non-timber forest products and services) raising the importance of forest nurseries competitive advantage of nurseries by taking into account new developments facilitate the decision on the choice of the type of seedlings and planting techniques for reforestations and afforestation a more efficient extraction, processing, storage and testing of forest reproductive material recognition of economic significance and valuation of the possession of forest seed stands for forest owners.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2016, 2018, final report
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