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Mediterranean forests are characterized by high complexity and biological richness at all levels. Genetic diversity of Mediterranean forest species has been found to be higher than the one of central and northern Europe. It is important for the maintenance of forest cover and the adaptation of forests under adverse conditions towards environmental change. Genetic diversity in the Mediterranean forests has been shaped by the climatic and the geographical history of the region. However, the most important factor influencing diversity is the presence of human in the region. The impact of forest management techniques and other human activities on genetic diversity is analyzed. Sustainable forest management in the Mediterranean should take this information in account and include measures for the maintenance of genetic diversity of forest species. This will then secure the long-term character of forestry in the region and the production of goods and services for the society.
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