Fire is a very common disturbance phenomenon in Mediterranean type eco-systems. Low elevation coniferous forests in the Mediterranean region are heavily impacted by repeated fires. Although often implied, the role of fire as a source of genetic variation among Mediterranean species has never been thoroughly investigated. At the same time, there is a keen need to protect the invaluable genetic resources for maintenance and restoration of coniferous forests damaged by wildfires and to develop criteria for afforestation of burned areas.
This study will :
a) Survey and inventory low elevation Mediterranean coniferous forests in burned and unburned areas by studying stand structure and dynamics and by conducting spatial and temporal analysis in order to investigate the evolutionary significance fo fire in the Mediterranean forests. Phenotypic traits favouring fire adaptation will also be examined.
b) Use morphological and biochemical markers in order to identify hybrids as well as mutants and their geographical distribution as related to wildland fire occurrence. The frequencies of the markers would finally yield information on the impacts fo selection & drift caused by fires on the genetic structures of the pure species and the hybrids.
c) Conduct genetic inventory of Mediterranean pine forests using genetic and morphological markers.
d) Investigate the genetic drift in natural stands of Mediterranean, pines by iso-enzyme and DNA techniques.
e) Develop approaches for in-situ and ex-situ conservation of invaluable genetic resources of low elevation Mediterranean pines.
f) Develop criteria for afforestation of burned areas.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts