The main objective is to generate relevant knowledge on the role and use of MaP populations to adapt forests to global change using a multidisciplinary approach.
Specific objectives are:
- To collect, collate, analyze and synthesize information from past and ongoing projects related to genetic diversity and impacts of climate change;
- To record and list existing conservation efforts and status, in order to identify gaps and set conservation priorities
- To analyze and raise awareness on the role of FGR in the adaptation of MaP populations;
- To perform meta-analysis of collected data to identify common trends on the dynamics of genetic diversity in relation to the response to the effects of global change;
- To provide recommendations and guidelines for forest managers and national policy makers to conserve and sustainably use MaP FGR for forest adaptation and mitigation to climate change;
- To highlight the potential of MaP populations for the adaptation to climate change in other networks dealing with FGR conservation;
- To identify new research priorities on FGR for future projects;
- To organize conferences, workshops and training schools for the scientific community, end users and stakeholders on the role of FGR from southern edge populations for adapting forests to global change;
- To publish results in journals with public access policy.
Strategies of the Action
The objectives are being achieved by:
- Combining existing information from several sources on forest genetic resources and ecological conditions on MaP populations and making this information usable through databases. For this purpose, the experience gained at European level from work of the EUFORGEN, TREEBREEDEX, EUFGIS and EVOLTREE networks will be of major importance
- Analyzing this combined information to increase knowledge on the relationship between genetic diversity and adaptation to global change and particularly to climate change
- Identifying gaps for future research and providing tools for forest managers and decision makers (guidelines, recommendations, methods, decision-making tools, etc.)
- Training and networking researchers of European and non-European countries through the organization of annual training schools and the establishment of active and efficient exchanges among scientists (workshops, conferences, working groups, publications, etc.)
- Combining information on the current conservation status of FGR and identify gaps related to species/MaP populations
Potential impact of the Action
The benefits of the Action are at three main levels:
1. Scientific and technological kowledge:
- genetic and ecological data made available through an open access database, sharing scientific information to reduce fragmentation and gaps in knowledge and research;
- model on conservation and management of MaP FGR provided in the context of global change;
- knowledge provided on the value of MaP populations as long-term reservoirs of genetic variations and evolutionary potential for central populations.
2. Capacity building:
- standardized methods and protocols to provide common methodology for conservation and management of MaP FGR;
- training of scientists and practitioners.
3. Social and economic impacts:
- preserve multifunctional forests together with the goods and services they provide to local populations and other stakeholders in the forestry sector, safeguard precious MaP FGR and transfer of knowledge to policy makers.
Target groups/end users
The achievements obtained in this Action will contribute to the current international initiatives to assess biodiversity at all levels of organization.
The Action expects to provide the scientific community, especially biologists and ecologists, with a deeper understanding of the importance of tree genetic diversity for the sustainability and resilience of forest ecosystems.
It will provide forest managers, nature conservationists and policy makers with guidelines to manage forest ecosystems and MaP FGR that are affected by global change.
The Action will be able to provide guidelines to policy makers for the choice of appropriate “minimum requirements” to select forest ecosystems and MaP FGR stands that will be recognized and managed as conservation units at the European scale.
Policy makers will enhance their ability to integrate FGR issues in National Forest Programs and strategies for adaptation and mitigation to global change. New tools and methods will be available at national level to improve monitoring, regulation and certification of FGR.
Forest Managers will be able to integrate FGR issues in their practice for Sustainable Forest Management using the recommendations and guidelines provided by the COST Action.
Conservationists will be able, with maps and data made available by this COST Action, to identify the most endangered populations/species and the best sites for ex situ conservation.
Forest owners will be able to choose the best adapted reproductive materials to future climate conditions for reforestation/afforestation activities.