International project reports

Marginal/peripheral populations of forest tree species and their conservation status: report for Atlantic region


Abstract


This report is a synthesis of information from the national reports, prepared as part of the COST Action FP1202 Strengthening conservation: a key issue for adaptation of marginal/peripheral populations of forest trees to climate change in Europe (MaPFGR). The individual national reports can be found as part of the supplemental data to the COST action. The data compiled in this report indicate that the Atlantic area has sufficient resources in terms of knowledge and capacity to assess the potential impact of climate change on marginal and peripheral (MaP) sites within the area. Maps of vegetation, soil, climate and climatic predictions are publicly available for most countries and often are of high quality and resolution. These can be utilized to help identify MaP sites and populations in the Atlantic area. In addition, some species have been characterized genetically and the genetic data can also be utilized to identify and characterize sites. However, genetic data is not universally available and in particular may be absent for peripheral sites. There are many data sources for phenotypic traits, such as data from provenance trials but these have not been assessed for MaP populations. There may not be sufficient legislative capacity for the conservation of MaP populations in comparison to, for example, annex habitats of the EU Habitats Directive. Although some of the MaP sites lie within Natura 2000 boundaries, many are not in protected areas. If MaP populations are not characterized and conserved there is a risk of losing traits that may be of potential in adaptation to climate change. A detailed spatial analysis incorporating all of the data is needed to give a comprehensive assessment of the potential threats to MaP populations in this area.


Keywords

Forest genetic resources; forest tree marginal populations; MaPs; marginality; Cost Action FP 1202 MaP FGR

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-1531

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