ORAL PRESENTATION: Innovative forest genetic resource management and adaptation to climate change – understanding management constraints to inform policies

Submitted by : Fady Bruno
Abstract type : Oral presentation
Session type : Conference session 4: EVOLUTIONARY MANAGEMENT of FORESTS
Author Speaker : Marcus Lindner

Information about other authors :

Joost de Koning, European Forest Institute

Hans Verkerk, European Forest Institute

Abstract :


Climate change is a major challenge to forest management in Europe. To ensure the conservation and sustainable use of forests under the ongoing environmental changes with increased severity of extreme events, dedicated adaptation strategies will be crucial. Devising successful adaptation measures should consider the diversity of forest types and management regimes across European forests and understand how these define and limit the potentials of innovative forest genetic resource management. The objective of this presentation is to connect knowledge about potential adaptation measures and their implementation status in Europe with the regional distribution of forest management practices in Europe as compiled in the GenTree Forest Management Atlas to point out potentials and limitations for innovative forest genetic resource management and from this draw some policy recommendations.


Adaptation measures in forest management, their implementation status and suitability to cope with the observed and projected climate change and extreme events were reviewed in the Forest Europe Expert Group on Adaptation to Climate Change, using two questionnaires. The results were processed in the INFORMAR project and linked with a categorisation of adaptation measures to assess their suitability to respond to climate change within the realms of intensified and integrated forest management. Using the information from the GenTree forest management atlas, we analysed how alternative forest management regimes constrain the use of innovative forest genetic resource management approaches.


We elaborated a decision tree that links the current forest management context with available adaptation measures, including the use of forest gene conservation and advanced tree breeding. We point out adaptation opportunities and challenges across the diverse forest types and management regimes in Europe. Legal constraints and societal disputes also need to be considered as constraints in the uptake of possible adaptation measures. Against this backdrop, the possible application of innovative forest genetic resource conservation and management strategies developed in Gentree is highlighted. Advanced tree breeding material can be effectively utilized in intensive forest management regimes that rely on artificial regeneration. However, new adaptive management approaches will need to be developed in regions that predominantly rely on natural regeneration of species with declining site suitability, thereby challenging existing forest management paradigms such as close-to-nature silviculture.


Forest genetic resource management is strongly constrained by the existing management context and this is particularly relevant in view of the needs to adapt forest management to climate change. A better understanding of the link between management practices and forest genetic resource dynamics under climate change is warranted. This understanding needs to be communicated to stakeholders and decision makers at different levels from practical forest management districts to national policy implementation.

Bibliografic references :

Keywords : climate change adaptation, forest management, natural regeneration, artificial regeneration
: GENTREEconference_lindner_etal.docx 25.01 kB