Concerns and evidence on genetic diversity in planted forests
AbstractPlanted forests are an important source of various services (economic, environmental, and social) with increasing portion in the total worldâ€™s forest area. Genetic diversity is fundamental for success and sustainability of planted forests. Facing the concern of the reduction of genetic diversity in planted forests, this study offers a review of evidence on comparisons between the levels of genetic diversity in forests established by different regeneration methods. A total of 34 papers comparing genetic diversity in natural forests versus various regeneration methods of 24 tree species examined by the range of markers are reviewed. In most cases, there are no significant differences in genetic diversity between natural and planted forests, followed by an almost equal number of cases with decreased and increased level of genetic diversity. The loss of rare alleles, but also new alleles are reported in planted forests. Although the origin of planting material in the most cases are unknown, the size of parental population is determinant for the level of genetic diversity in the new forest, with the provenancing and seed collection strategy as the most important management practices in planting projects.
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