ASP and LIFEGENMON on the 3rd Biosphere Day in Berchtesgadener Land

On Sunday, 1 July 2018, the Biosphere Region Berchtesgadener Land organized the third Biosphere Day at the Abtsee near Laufen themed “Aspects of Sustainability”. After a short morning service, the Bavarian Minister of Agriculturee, Michaela Kaniber, the President of the Bavarian Government, Maria Els, and the Bavarian Minister of Environment, Dr. Marcel Huber, inaugurated the “Abtsdorfer See Roas” – a five-kilometer round trip with 34 stations and around 100 regional companies and institutions. According to estimates about 6,000 visitors made their way to the adventure trail around the lake on foot, by horse-drawn carriage, by rickshaw or by bike.

Biosphere Day 2018 (4)

As a contribution of the forestry sector to the importance of sustainability, Martin Tubes and Marco Kunz from the Bavarian Office for Forest Seeding and Planting (ASP) presented the current projects “LIFEGENMON”, “GenMon” and “CorCed” to the visitors. All three projects will provide important insights into how we can secure our forest genetic resources for the future.

The highest possible diversity in the genome of a tree species is important so that it can adapt to future environmental conditions. For instance, in GenMon a network of 16 monitoring areas for beech and ten areas for spruce will be set up all over Germany. With this system, users will be able to observe in the long term how the genetic diversity within the tree species develops in their population. By covering important environmental conditions, the insights gained from this are of supraregional importance. In LIFEGENMON, the researchers at the ASP are developing such a forest genetic monitoring system for Europe together with partner institutes in Greece and Slovenia.

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The Bavarian Office for Forest Seeding and Planting (ASP) presented the current projects LIFEGENMON, GenMon and CordCed within the category “Nature Conservation with Vision” at the 3rd Biosphere Day in Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria.

In CorCed, the ASP is investigating whether Atlas or Lebanon Cedar and Tree Hazel in Bavaria will be considered as possible hybrid tree species in the future. These Mediterranean tree species have a high tolerance to frost and longer periods of drought. At the same time they convince with good growth and excellent wood properties and are thus a guarantee for economic success. Before these tree species are cultivated in Germany, the genetic makeup of these trees is examined, which plays a crucial role in adaptability, growth and quality. This prevents genetically restricted material with low adaptability from ever reaching Germany. For forestry professionals, these are important results that should be taken into account in forest conversion.

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Author of the article and the photos is Mark Walter, head of public relations for the LIFEGENMON project at Bavarian Office for Forest Seeding and Planting (ASP)

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