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New publication on beech genetic resources in Europe

Published: 10/10/2011

European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is an economically important tree species with a large distribution area ranging from southern Scandinavian to the Mediterranean region, and from the Atlantic coast of Western Europe to Central and South-eastern Europe. Beech forests, covering about 14 million ha, are also of high ecological value supporting the existence of numerous other species and protecting ground water resources. Oriental beech (F. orientalis) also grows on some 3 million ha of forests in South-eastern Europe.

A total of 29 countries contributed their country reports to a new publication, titled as “Genetic resources of beech in Europe – current state”, which was jointly prepared by the Forestry and Game Management Research Institute in the Czech Republic and the Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI) in Germany. The country reports provide an overview of the present state of beech forests, their management practices, ongoing research efforts, genetic composition of the beech populations and genetic conservation strategies.

The publication results from the work that was carried out during COST Action E52 “Evaluation of Beech Genetic Resources for Sustainable Forestry” (2006-2010). This COST Action was participated by 22 countries and coordinated by vTI. Its main objective was to evaluate jointly, for the first time, 60 international beech provenance trials located in 19 European countries, including a total of 200 provenances.

The publication can be downloaded from the vTI website [click to download PDF]
or from the VULHM website (in 3 parts) [pdf part 1] [pdf part 2] [pdf part 3]