Today, there is a lot of negative pressure on the riparian forests of Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve, which poses a challenge to the stability and sustainability of these forests in the future. In this context, genetic diversity is precious for the adaptability of forest tree species to changing environmental conditions.
One of the ways to conserve genetic diversity of tree species is to establish a gene bank. The REFOCuS project partners have established a seed bank for ex situ conservation of genetic diversity of tree species in the Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve for the entire region.
So far, the partners have collected seeds of alder (Alnus glutinosa Gaertn.), oak (Quercus robur L.) and ash (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl.), which are among the project’s target species. The gene bank is hosted and managed by the Croatian Forest Research Institute in Jastrebarsko, Croatia.
In addition, colleagues from the Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment have established a clonal archive of black poplar (Populus nigra L.) which holds cuttings from Croatian, Slovenian and Serbian parts of the Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve.
You can find more technical details on seed storage and conditions in our latest output.
Photo: The gene bank at the Croatian Forest Research Institute (in Jastrebarsko, Croatia)