Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Designation of measures to ensure genetic-based forest protection

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 
climate change, genetic diversity, indicators, forest seed objects, genetic monitoring, measures, ge
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  29875  Marko Bajc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  275 
2.  14869  PhD Gregor Božič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  494 
3.  08032  PhD Miran Čas  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  243 
4.  32936  Samo Grbec  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Technician  2011 - 2014  14 
5.  21242  PhD Tine Grebenc  Plant production  Researcher  2011 - 2014  462 
6.  28855  Melita Hrenko    Technician  2011 - 2014 
7.  16067  PhD Andrej Kobler  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2012 - 2014  284 
8.  07127  PhD Hojka Kraigher  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Principal Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,303 
9.  15108  PhD Lado Kutnar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  771 
10.  27789  Iztok Sinjur    Technician  2011 - 2014  290 
11.  32771  PhD Ines Štraus  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  52 
12.  24777  Barbara Štupar    Technician  2011 - 2014  29 
13.  28224  PhD Andrej Verlič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  132 
14.  24343  PhD Marjana Westergren  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  387 
15.  28401  PhD Peter Železnik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  181 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  10,964 
Conservation of genetic diversity of populations of forest trees is one of the main conditions to the existence and normal development of forests in unpredictable environmental changes. Maintenance of the adaptation potential of forests is based on a dynamic genetic conservation of diverse gene pools of individual tree species and their symbiotic organisms. Genetic inventory for conservation of genetic resources requires the development and implementation of the concept of genetic monitoring, which will allow learning about the differences in characteristics between different populations of forest tree species and about the differences between individuals within a population. In addition to developing and establishing procedures and protocols of genetic diversity of provenances of forest trees the definition of criteria for the selection and tending of forest seed stands (basic material) on the genetic basis is an important target of this project to implement the existing system. The three project objectives will be achieved through organization of project activities in four work packages, each with several partial targets, which are interdependent and pursued in a chronological order of three years: WP1: Development of genetic monitoring system for estimation of the adaptation of provenances of forest trees to environmental conditions (lead by M. Westergren, 15% of activities) WP2: Measures to ensure the protection of genetic diversity, studied on the case of two tree species: a stand-forming broadleaf (beech) and a scattered broadleaf species (black poplar) (lead by G. Božič, 35% of activities) WP3: Identification of criteria for the selection and tending of seed stands on the genetic basis as an upgrade of the existing system (lead by M. Westergren, 15% of activities) WP4: Dissemination and project management (lead by H. Kraigher, 35% of activities) Genetic monitoring will be performed using neutral DNA markers (presumably neutral on the selection process), through analysis of adaptation (adaptive) signs of growth and development in the context of selected provenances of beech provenance trial and other in the WP1 selected criteria for the genetic monitoring. Research will include common beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) as an economically important tree stand forming tree species, and a scattered minority species black poplar (Populus nigra L.) growing in fragmented habitats of endangered lowland forest ecosystems. To achieve the objectives of the WP1 and WP2 the activities will include field work and genetic analysis. Among the main results, in addition to the publication in scientific journals, an interactive transfer of knowledge through discussion workshops with silvicultureres from 14 regional units of the Slovenian Forest Service, with forest seed and nursery organizations / dealers will be organized. Also the professional basis to complement the regulations on forest seed objects and gene reserves will be prepared and  a handbook for monitoring the genetic diversity of tree populations will be published. The final results will be discussed through the organization of an expert workshop on forest reproductive material for the Central and Southeastern Europe. The participants will critically discuss the results of the project, procedures and protocols for genetic monitoring and prepare a basis for agreement on joint activities in this area; the organization will include preparation of a monography on genetic monitoring, use and conservation of forest genetic resources in Central and Southeastern Europe
Significance for science
Within the project, we have contributed to the review of theoretical and practical aspects of management of forest genetic resources, to the development of standards for establishment of dynamic gene conservation units, to the assessment of their distribution across Europe (and Slovenia) and their vulnerability due to climate change. Thereby we have contributed to the development of the whole scientific field, as well as to the development of Slovenian and European guidelines for conservation of forest genetic resources. We have contributed to the development / selection / definition of indicators and verifiers for genetic monitoring at European level and partially tested their value in terms of laboratory work required and information obtained for a selected set of markers for beech, which could be potentially used for genetic monitoring. Also, LIFE + project LIFEGENMON, which will implement and test genetic monitoring as well as economically evaluate selected / defined indicators and verifiers of genetic diversity at international level, was conceptually designed, prepared and approved within this project.
Significance for the country
With the help of this project, Slovenia has introduced and proven itself to be in the forefront in the field of conservation of forest genetic resources. Additionally, as one of three countries where genetic monitoring for two tree species will be implemented (LIFE + project LIFEGENMON, which has been designed and developed within this project), we can become an example of good practice in Europe. We have developed and tested methods for identification of clones in seed orchards based on a case study of a narrow-leaved ash seed orchard Hraščica. During this we realised that such methods are necessary in order to avoid errors during establishment of seed orchards. We have also observed that irregular shelterwood system of a beech stand at Osankarica proved to be suitable for conservation of genetic diversity (the latter was similar to the one in an old growth forest reserve; also the transfer of information between successive generations was similar to that in the old growth). We have presented measures for genetic protection of forests - protection of forest genetic resources (FGR) in situ, ex situ and measures to ensure genetic diversity of individual tree species or groups of species for 20 species or groups of species.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report
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