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Forests 2018, 9(6), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060355

Do Silviculture and Forest Management Affect the Genetic Diversity and Structure of Long-Impacted Forest Tree Populations?

Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle, University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
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Abstract

The consequences of silviculture and management on the genetic variation and structure of long-impacted populations of forest tree are reviewed assessed and discussed, using Mediterranean forests as a working paradigm. The review focuses on silviculture and management systems, regeneration schemes, the consequences of coppicing and coppice conversion to high forest, the effects of fragmentation and exploitation, and the genetic impact of forestry plantations. It emerges that averaging genetic diversity parameters, such as those typically reported in the assessment of forest population genetics, do not generally present significant differences between populations under certain silvicultural systems/forest management methods and “control” populations. Observed differences are usually rather subtler and regard the structure of the genetic variation and the lasting adaptive potential of natural forest tree populations. Therefore, forest management and silvicultural practices have a longer-term impact on the genetic diversity and structure and resilience of long-impacted populations of forest tree; their assessment should be based on parameters that are sensitive to population perturbations and bottlenecks. The nature and extent of genetic effects and impact of silviculture and forest management practices, call for a concerted effort regarding their thorough study using genetic, genomic, as well as monitoring approaches, in order to provide insight and potential solutions for future silviculture and management regimes. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic diversity; genetic structure; forest management; silviculture; resilience genetic diversity; genetic structure; forest management; silviculture; resilience
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Aravanopoulos, F.A.P. Do Silviculture and Forest Management Affect the Genetic Diversity and Structure of Long-Impacted Forest Tree Populations? Forests 2018, 9, 355.

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