Tree Genetic Diversity and Gene Flow in Forest Ecosystems

Authored by: Francine Tremblay

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447


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Genetic diversity represents the potential to adapt and evolve in response to a changing environment for all living organisms. Forest tree species are recognized for their high level of genetic diversity. This source of variation is expressed in a large tree-to-tree variation called the phenotype which is a combination of a genotype and its growing environment. In other words, “it is the tree that you see”. This source of variation has been exploited by foresters to implement tree genetic improvement programs all over the world. The selected material is widely used in forest plantations as it helps increase forest productivity, timber supply and the provision of several ecological services to the community (Bauhus et al. 2010).

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