FORGER - Towards the Sustainable Management of Forest Genetic Resources in Europe

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Forest genetic resources form the base for adaptation of European forests to future environmental conditions and societal demands. Appropriate use and sustainable management of forest genetic resources is therefore of utmost importance.

Past decades have shown an immense progress in detecting patterns of genetic diversity due to fast technological advances, increased knowledge on the genetic modelling of responses of tree species to changing environmental conditions, and increased awareness by policy makers across Europe, leading to increased efforts for the conservation of forest genetic resources in all European member states. For example, by the establishment forest stands with the aim to conserve genetic diversity. However, currently there is no sound management on the sustainable use of forest genetic resources, neither in gene conservation units nor in production forests, to meet future changes.

The FORGER project aims at integrating and extending existing knowledge to provide science-based recommendations on the management and sustainable use of forest genetic resources for EU-policy makers, national stakeholders, forest managers, and managers of natural areas.

Inventories of forest genetic resources

Aim: To synthesise and further develop knowledge from European forest inventories on forest genetic resources by linking and extending existing databases to provide the knowledge base to sustain forest genetic resources at the pan-European level for stakeholders


  • Extending existing databases on inventories of forest genetic resources
  • Characterisation of genetic diversity in gene conservation units

Measuring and monitoring genetic diversity

Aim: To deliver a general monitoring system of forest genetic diversity that can be efficiently and economically applied in all EU Member States



Use and management of forest genetic resources

Aim: To assess current and future distribution of genetic diversity under a number of forest management scenarios and climate change


  • Analysis of historic and current forest management and transfer of forest reproductive material
  • Optimize seed harvest strategies for sustainable use of forest genetic resources
  • Assess reaction norms to environmental changes
  • Prediction of impacts of climate change and forest management on forest genetic resources using the ForGEM model

Tools, guidelines and recommendations on the conservation of genetic diversity

Aim: To provide an overview of past and current transfer of forest reproductive material across Europe and its consequences for local adaptation


  • Developmet of tools, guidelines and recommendations on the conservation of genetic diversity
  • Dynamic linking of GD2 and EUFGIS
  • Integration and interpretation of spatial genetic and non-genetic information for EU decision makers
  • Formulation of guidelines and recommendations for forest managers

Communication, dissemination and knowledge transfer

Aim: To formulate guidelines and recommendations to sustain forest genetic resources in both gene conservation units and production forests to meet the challenge of a changing environment and societal needs.


  • Development of communication and dissemination materials
  • Content management of the dissemination section of the project website
  • Expert consultations with selected target groups
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Communication and dissemination to policymakers and other target groups at European and global level


The FORGER project (289119) is a Collaborative Project (CP) funded under Knowledge-based Bio-Economy theme: Sustaining and managing forest tree genetic resources FP7 -KBBE-2011-5

Call identifier: FP7-KBBE-2011-5-CP-CSA Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology


Organisation Short name Country Responsible
Wageningen University and Research Centre Alterra Netherlands K. Kramer
Bundesforschungs-und Ausbildungszentrum fur Wald, Naturgefahren und Landschaft BFW Austria Th. Geburek
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut Bundesforschungsinstitut für Ländliche Räume, Wald und Fischerei vTI Germany B. Degen
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA France A. Kremer
Metsantutkimuslaitos METLA Finland K. Karkainen
University of West Hungary NymE Hungary C. Matyas
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute Bioversity International Italy J. Koskela
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche CNR Italy J.J. Vendramin
Uniwersytet Kazimierza Wielkiego UKW Poland J. Burczyk

External links


Geburek, T., Turok, J., 2005. Conservation and Management of Forest Genetic Resources in Europe. Arbora Publishers, Zvolen (contents here).