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Assessment of genetic diversity of economically and ecologically important tropical tree species of Central America and the Caribbean : implication for conservation, sustainable utilization and management

Objective



THE PROJECT INVOLVES COLLABORATION BETWEEN PARTNERS IN FRANCE, THE UK, COSTA RICA, FRENCH GUYANA AND GUADELOUPE. IT WILL ADDRESS THE CURRENT PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPING GENETIC CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE UTILIZATION STRATEGIES FOR TROPICAL FORESTS, WHICH ARE NEEDED FOR THE BETTER MANAGEMENT OF FOREST RESOURCES, AND UTILIZES RECENTLY DEVELOPED MOLECULAR TOOLS WHICH WILL OVERCOME PREVIOUS DIFFICULTIES IN ASSESSING GENETIC DIVERSITY.
THE OVERALL OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT ARE To PROMOTE THE SUSTAINABLE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF TROPICAL FORESTS BY: DETERMINING THE EFFECTS OF SELECTIVE LOGGING AND FOREST FRAGMENTATION ON WITHIN SPECIES GENETIC DIVERSITY; IDENTIFYING POPULATIONS OF TARGET TREE SPECIES OF PARTICULAR VALUE FOR CONSERVATION OR AS GENE POOLS FOR TREE IMPROVEMENT; AND BY INCREASING UNDERSTANDING OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN GENETIC DIVERSITY AND LIFE HISTORY TRAITS AND ASSESSING FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO LOSSES IN DIVERSITY.
MOLECULAR TOOLS WILL BE DEVELOPED AND USED FOR ASSESSMENTS OF GENETIC DIVERSITY. STUDIES WILL FOCUS ON TWO GROUPS OF TROPICAL TREE SPECIES: ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT SPECIES, NOTABLY SWIETENIA SPP. (MAHOGANIES) AND TABEBOUIA HETEROPHYLLA (WHITE CEDAR) IN CENTRAL AMERICA, FOR WHICH EXTENSIVE HARVESTING HAS ALREADY CAUSED GENETIC EROSION; AND ECOLOGICALLY IMPORTANT (RAIN FOREST SPECIES) SOME OF WHICH HAVE ALSO ENCOUNTERED GENETIC EROSION.
GENETIC DIVERSITY OF DIFFERENT POPULATIONS OF THE ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT SPECIES WILL BE ASSESSED, AND POPULATIONS OF PARTICULAR VALUE FOR BREEDING IDENTIFIED AND CONSERVATION PLANTATIONS ESTABLISHED. THE EFFECTS OF FOREST FRAGMENTATION UPON GENETIC DIVERSITY WILL BE EVALUATED.
THE FOCUS OF THE RESEARCH ON THE RAINFOREST SPECIES IS TO DETERMINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LIFE HISTORY TRAITS AND LEVELS OF GENETIC DIVERSITY. THIS SHOULD ENABLE PREDICTIONS TO BE MADE ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF DISTURBANCE AND FOREST MANAGEMENT UPON GENETIC DIVERSITY OF SPECIES WITH DIFFERENT TRAITS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL
Address
C/o Bush Estate
EH26 0QB Penicuik
United Kingdom

Participants (2)

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza
Costa Rica
Address

7170 Turrialba
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE
France
Address
Domaine De L'hermitage
33611 Canejan