Forest genetic resources to support global bioeconomy


Abstract


A biobased economy implies sustainable and effective use of the biomass. This includes new products from forestry. The sustainable production, use, consumption and waste management of biomass all contribute to a bioeconomy (The European Bioeconomy in 2030). 

In the context of bioeconomy the conservation of forest genetic resources assumes a key significance in overcoming global challenges such as climate change. Forests are expected to play a key role in climate change mitigation, but they will only be able to fulfil that role if the trees themselves are able to survive and adapt to changing climate conditions. Genetic diversity provides the fundamental basis for the evolution of forest tree species and for their adaptation to change. The enormous range of goods and services provided by trees and forests is both a function of and testimony to the genetic variability contained within them.  Conserving forest  genetic  resources  is  therefore  vital, as  they  constitute  a  unique  and  irreplaceable resource for the future, including for sustainable economic growth and progress and environmental adaption (The State of the Worlds Forest Genetic Resources 2014).

Previous research of population characteristics and the effects of natural and artificial selection on the genetic structure of populations contribute to the conservation and enhancement of the gene pool of the native tree species. The balance model of the population genetic structure reveals the new properties of the populations and requires further investigations, especially of the relations of subpopulations, half-sib families and organisms and the effect of variable factors of the environment, on the exchange of genetic material within natural and cultural populations.

Being of national and international significance, these resources require intensive protection and enhancement in situ and ex situ. In this paper a general introduction is given to conservation of forest genetic resources in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia in the context of bio-economy. Based on the current situation of conservation of forest genetic resources, some strategic suggestions concerning the future development of genetic conservation is given, taking into consideration the conservation objectives and future trends of great impact on existing forest genetic resources. 


Keywords

Genetics resources; conservation; bio-economy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-942

References


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