Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
After a presentation of basic biodiversity concepts, reviews are made of studies reporting genetic implications of tree improvement activities: seed treatments, seedling production, provenance transfers, plus tree selection, seed production in seed orchards and progeny testing.
Several of the activities may influence the genetic structure and diversity of the planted forests. The general conclusion is, however, that planted forests are at least as genetically diverse as the natural stands that they replace. The diversity in forest management and use is best assurance for the future adaptability of the forests.
The paper introduces different ways plant physiology research can avail the process of tree improvement. The breeding of tree cultivars that efficiently produce a particular wood product or amenity will be an important aspect of forest management. What physiologist can provide to breeders and genetic engineers is the opportunity to move their work from empirical level towards a more theoretical level, and help to make breeding more predictable and more precise in its objectives. The areas of research discussed in the paper are biotechnology, flowering, selection criteria, adaptability and application of ideotypes.