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Journal Articles Forest Ecology and Management Year : 2023

Diversity and enrichment of breeding material for resilience in European forests

Ivan Scotti
Bruno Fady


Delivering material selected for breeding purposes into the wild in the context of sustainable forest management might reduce the levels of genetic diversity of future forests in comparison to that of natural populations. Another consequence might be a reduction of their resilience under uncertain future climatic and socio-economic conditions if these new populations lack adaptability. Despite the long tradition of breeding activities in Europe, there is still a need to assess the impact of genetically enriched material on forests' resilience. In this study, we address (1) the genetic diversity of selected material compared to its wild ancestors, and (2) how to enrich breeding material to support forests' resilience under changing socio-environmental conditions. We analysed 16 study cases of selected material delivered from breeding activities in four European forest tree species (Pinus halepensis Mill., Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold, Pinus pinaster Ait. and Populus nigra L.) with different levels of breeding. To answer these two questions, we first assessed and compared the genetic diversity of selected material versus natural populations using both putatively neutral and adaptive (based on diverging selection) Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). We then suggest how to enrich these populations for resilience under future climatic conditions by defining a core collection for each species including material from populations that will likely disappear under future conditions. Thanks to the large SNP datasets available for our focal species, we were able to detect some trends in our data. Expected and observed heterozygosity values for selected populations were almost always identical. The selected material showed small but significant genetic differentiation from their original population and their inbreeding coefficient was generally lower. However, the level of genetic improvement (i.e. low vs high) was not correlated with the observed genetic differences between selected material and natural populations.The genetic characterization of natural populations distributed across the species range, and the future projection of their range stability, made it possible to identify core-collections that would significantly enrich breeding populations under uncertain future environmental conditions.
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hal-04118477 , version 1 (06-06-2023)


Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives



Sanna Olsson, Benjamin Dauphin, Véronique Jorge, Delphine Grivet, Anna Maria Farsakoglou, et al.. Diversity and enrichment of breeding material for resilience in European forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 2023, 530, pp.120748. ⟨10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120748⟩. ⟨hal-04118477⟩
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