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January 2013

Welcome to the Trees4Future newsletter!

Trees4Future partners gather in Berlin

Trees4Future partners from across Europe met in Berlin from 19-23 November, for the first Trees4Future Annual Meeting.
Dedicated working sessions for each Trees4Future work package and intensive plenary sessions helped participants fine-tune and navigate through the many networking and research activities planned for 2013. Partners also took part in a field trip to the Thünen-Institute of Forest Genetics at Waldsieversdorf, where they saw the ongoing IUFRO Scots pine provenance trial, and visited the genetics labs and forest seed testing station.
Dr Luc Pâques, Coordinator of Trees4Future said: “After little more than a year since Trees4Future was launched, the project is well on its way and on the right track. The multi-disciplinary approach, and the combined expertise of the Trees4Future partners is a real source of innovation, and for finding original solutions to forestry-related activities.”
The project meeting was organised by the Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut and INRA Transfert, and hosted by the Julius Kühn-Institut.

Resilient forests for the future – tree breeding and climate change

Abiotic threats due to climate change, as well as the emergence in parallel of new biotic agents are major concerns for foresters in Europe. The consequences for forests include reduced growth with further drastic conditions promoting even local loss of some populations or species, and a shift in some native and cultivated ranges of species. Due to human activities and fragmentation of forests, migration of trees and adaptation through other natural forces (mutation, selection) might not be possible or fast enough to cope with changes in the climate. Through active recombination and selection, forest tree breeding mostly imitates nature while greatly accelerating selection processes. Moreover, it directs them towards human requirements through selection of genetically improved varieties. As such, forest tree genetic improvement can act as an efficient way to adapt Forest Reproduction Material to new environmental conditions, assist migration of species and contribute to improving the resilience of European forests.
The contribution of Trees4Future to combating the negative effects of climate change are highlighted in the work of five of our work areas:
  • Fingerprinting and traceability of biological materials
  • Enhancement and/or deployment of medium/high phenotyping of traits
  • Phenotypic plasticity and phenology
  • Spatial modelling of provenance regions and future site suitability mapping
  • Developing modes of compatibility of modelling tools
Read the full article

Your gateway to forest research facilities in Europe: apply now to our Transnational Access programme!

Take advantage of the expertise, services and data offered by Trees4future – free of charge!
European researchers and other experts can gain free access to a wide range of specialised forest research infrastructures, from the molecular to the forest landscape level. The 28 facilities on offer across Europe include genetic databanks, biobanks, models and decision-support systems and laboratories.
Apply now! Successful applicants will receive a contribution of up to 450€ to their travel costs and a daily subsistence allowance for visiting and using the facilities under expert guidance. Free access is also provided to several online databases.
For more information on the facilities offered, the Call for Access and how to apply, please visit www.trees4future.eu/transnational-accesses.html

Spotlight on.... ASP Traceability of Forest Reproductive Material laboratory facilities

The ASP laboratory facilities offer access to a combination of genetic lab (DNA, biochemical markers) and seed testing lab, including long-term storage facilities for Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) under controlled conditions. The infrastructure conducts applied forest genetic research and was involved in the development of a new certification system for forest reproductive material based on reference samples and genetic investigations (DNA-fingerprint), called ZÜF.
More details
Photo credits: Marin Tudoroiu, Fotolia.com/Inga Nielsen, ASP