Forest Science for people and societal challenges The 90th “Marin Drăcea” INCDS Anniversary

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Field: Agriculture, food safety and security
Contract: PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013-4-0695
Project duration: 2014-2017
Budget: 1.612.572 LEI

Project director

Senior researcher I Dr. Georgeta Mihai

Project description

The researches of the last decades have highlighted an obvious change in the global climate, which cannot remain without effects on the forest ecosystems. Although there is a great degree of uncertainty regarding the influence of climate change, it is still unanimously accepted that mountain ecosystems will be the most vulnerable. The real adaptation potential depends, however, on the existence of a wide genetic diversity in the tree populations, respectively on the adaptive genetic variation. Genetic diversity guarantees that forest species can survive, adapt and evolve under the action of changing environmental conditions.


Consequently, the evaluation of the adaptive genetic potential of the autochthonous species in our country is essential for increasing the productivity and stability of the forest in the context of climate change. The choice of species, but especially of provenances/genotypes with high plasticity, is recognized as one of the strategic measures that must be taken. The transfer of reproductive forest materials with high adaptability or “assisted migration” is also considered one of the measures that can facilitate the adaptation of forest species to climate change and maximize forest productivity.

Objectives and activities

The general objective of the project is to evaluate the adaptive genetic potential of spruce, fir and Scots pine, the most important softwood species in Romania, from an economic and ecological point of view, in the context of climate change.


Specific objectives:


  • Identification and characterization of climatic factors that exert a strong selection pressure on spruce, fir and Scots pine populations;
  • Evaluation of the genetic structure of marginal and optimal vegetation populations using molecular markers and their correlation with silvicultural forest management measures;
  • Evaluation of the adaptive genetic variation of growth characters and some phenological characters;
  • Evaluation of phenotypic plasticity and selection of populations/genotypes with high adaptability;
  • Evaluation of the degree of possible risk for the studied species through the development of genetic-ecological prediction models, associated with climate changes;
  • Evaluation of the impact of forest management on genetic diversity and the ability to adapt tree populations to climate change;

Activities and expected results


WP1: Identification of climatic factors and their influence on the growth and adaptation of spruce, fir and Scots pine populations


WP2: Variation and genetic control of phenological characters and growth characters


WP3: Evaluation of the spatial genetic structure of tree populations with the help of molecular markers


WP4: Elaboration of the impact model and risk assessment for the studied species both under current climate conditions and for future climate scenarios


WP5: Analysis of the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to the effects of climate change and the identification of concrete adaptation measures


Project partners:


Voluntari, Bdul Eroilor, no. 128, Ilfov county, 0771910
Tel: 021 3503238, 021 3503244
Fax: 021 3503245


Bucuresti, Str. Petricani, no. 9A, sector 2, 023841
Tel: 021 3171005
Fax: 021 3168428


Brasov, Bdul Eroilor no. 2, 500036
Tel: 0268 418600
Fax: 0268 410525


Bucharest, Sos. Bucharest-Ploiesti, no. 97, sector 1, 013686
Tel: 021 3183240
Fax: 021 3163143

Activity reports and results obtained

Stage I

The study of the influence of climatic factors on the growth and adaptation characteristics in the experimental surfaces of spruce, fir and Scots pine.

Obtained results:

  • the establishment of the biometric, geographical and climatic database for long-term experiments with the origin and descendants of spruce, fir and Scots pine, installed in Romania;
  • highlighting the main influencing factors on the studied characters,
  • evaluation of the local adaptive variation and at the level of the species area;
  • calculation of climatic parameters at the level of the distribution area of the studied species in Romania, for the period 1961 – 2013.

Stage II

The study of the genetic variation of the quantitative and phenological characters in the experiments with fir, spruce and Scots pine.


Obtained results:

  • evaluation of the magnitude of adaptive genetic variation at the intra-population, inter-population level and by regions of origin;
  • determining the genetic parameters of the real adaptation potential;
  • assessment of local adaptation in genetic testing;
  • the installation of new experimental cultures with fir descendants in different seasonal conditions, within the Campina, Comandau and Fancel forest areas.

Stage III

Evaluation of the genetic structure of fir, spruce and Scots pine populations.


Obtained results:

  • assessment of genetic diversity in natural and artificial populations;
  • analysis of spatial genetic structures through inter- and intra-population assessments;
  • knowledge of the genetic specificity of some analyzed populations, of interest for the future;
  • highlighting vulnerable populations in terms of the narrowing of genetic diversity.

Tested populations and long-term experimental areas for spruce

Tested populations and long-term experimental plots for fir

Stage IV

  • determination of inter- and intra-population genetic parameters for fir, spruce and Scots pine populations (continued);
  • determining the spatial genetic structures for the analyzed species (continued);
  • determining the transfer functions for the studied species;
  • development of genetic-ecological impact models and prediction maps;
  • identification of vulnerable regions and populations under climate change conditions, corresponding to the analyzed scenarios;
  • the identification of valuable populations in terms of genetic diversity and with high phenotypic plasticity;
  • evaluation of the impact of forest management on genetic diversity and the capacity of populations to adapt to climate change;
  • the development of technical guidelines and recommendations for production.

Technical recommendations

    1. 1. Taking into account the increase of the average annual temperature by 7.3% at the level of the fir area and by 8.9% respectively at the level of the spruce area, simultaneously with the decrease in precipitation, the high genetic variability existing between the studied provenances, between the regions of provenance and within for regions of origin A1 and A2, it is recommended to revise the current regions of origin approved by OM no. 617bis/1.09.2010 and the transfer rules.
    1. 2. Spruce, fir and Scots pine populations that present genetic diversity and high phenotypic plasticity are recommended to be established as basic materials for the production of forest reproduction materials.
    1. 3. Harvesting of seeds from stands – seed sources will be done from seed trees located at a distance of at least 50 m from each other.
    1. 4. The reproductive forest material used for the establishment of forest crops must come from batches of seeds harvested from a sufficiently large number of source trees (at least 30 trees plus).
    1. 5. Establishing natural populations of spruce, fir and Scots pine, with a high level of genetic diversity, as “in situ” genetic resources.
    1. 6. Identification of new genetic resources in regions affected by various disturbing factors or in which there is a risk of altering the genetic structure through the introduction of reproductive forest materials of unknown origin.