Forest genetic resources

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Forest genetic resources or tree genetic resources are genetic material of shrub and tree species of actual or future value. Forest genetic resources are essential for forest-depending communities who rely for a substantial part of their livelihoods on timber and non-timber forest products (for example fruits, gums and resins) for food security, domestic use and income generation. These resources are also the basis for large-scale wood production in planted forests to satisfy the worldwide need for timber and paper. Genetic resources of several important timber, fruit and other non-timber tree species are conserved ex situ in genebanks or maintained in field collections. Nevertheless in situ conservation in forests and on farms is in the case of most tree species the most important measure to protect their genetic resources.

Understanding diversity[edit]

A better understanding of the diversity of these species is crucial for their sustainable use and conservation.[1] Monitoring patterns of distribution and genetic diversity of these species allows the prioritization of populations for in situ conservation, identification of populations and species most at risk and existing gaps in genebank collections.[2] Also available in French and Spanish. This is vital information which helps tackle global challenges such as food security and climate change.


  1. ^ Dawson, I.K., Lengkeek, A., Weber, J.C., Jamnadass, R. (2009). "Managing genetic variation in tropical trees: linking knowledge with action in agroforestry ecosystems for improved conservation and enhanced livelihoods". Biodiversity and Conservation 18. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9516-z. 
  2. ^ Scheldeman, X. & van Zonneveld, M. (2010). Training Manual on Spatial Analysis of Plant Diversity and Distribution. Bioversity International. 

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