IUFRO Spotlight #85 - Variety: the spice of life, also for future forests
"There is an increasing risk of irreversible losses of many endemic forest tree species/populations or of unique marginal/peripheral ecotypes harbored in biodiversity hotspot regions due to climate change effects," says Dr. Giovanbattista de Dato, of Italy's Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) and Coordinator of the Task Force (TF) Strengthening Mediterranean Nursery Systems for Forest Reproductive Material Procurement to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change.
While the TF title may be somewhat unwieldy, the TF's role is clear: to provide the basic scientific information needed to maintain diversity in the forest nursery production chain; to apply serious and scrupulous certification criteria; and to support the adaptation of future forests to environmental changes.
At the end of the TF's five-year lifespan a shared information base on the seed forests of the Mediterranean region will be one of the expected results. Another positive outcome would be the development of guidelines for nursery managers, forest managers and owners, that explain, clarify and stress the importance of conserving genetic variability along the nursery chain, due to its key role in the adaptation of species and populations to climate change.
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