Measures for the conservation of forest gene resources in the Federal Republic of Germany
Before introducing the outlines of a draft for the conservation of forest gene resources, the situation of the “Waldsterben” (forest decline) is analysed, the approved basic material for the production of forest reproductive material and their use as gene resources are described and activities for preserving the most endangered species already initiated are listed. The draft contains a complete description of what has to be done for the conservation of forest gene resources. The task is the conservation of genetic variation to fulfil the principle of sustained integrity of genetic information of the species. The purposes are to keep populations adaptable, to help single trees or groups of trees to survive, to secure a continuous availability of populations, selected trees, and clones which serve as basic material, and to store reproductive material such as seed to overcome supply-shortages in forestry. The aim is to keep about 2% of the total forest area for conservation measures. The impacts of air pollution are discussed. The steps for evaluating gene resources and the measures for their conservation in situ and ex situ are described. The following ones are employable: preservation of stands, natural regeneration, seeding and planting in situ and ex situ, seedling and clonal seed orchards, clone collections, storage of seed, pollen, plants and part of plants, and conservation by continuous vegetative macro- or micropropagation. An example is given for an integrated application of measures for a continuous supply of reproductive material with silver fir. The factors to be considered when developing a programme for a certain species and the neassary research before efficient conservation of forest gene resources can take place are discussed.
KeywordsNatural Regeneration Seed Orchard Forest Tree Species Gene Resource Forest Decline
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