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The importance of genetic considerations in 
ecosystem restoration for enhancing 
resilience against climate change 
Evert...
Ecological Restoration 
The scale of on-going and planned restoration projects is 
enormous 
- Aichi 15 ~ 300 Mha by 2020 ...
3 
• Initial mortality 
• Poor growth 
• Delayed mortality or after 
extreme climate events (eg. 
Plantation of 30.000ha o...
How reduce risks and failures 
• Good silvicultural 
practices 
• Appropriate species 
choices 
• Genetic principles in 
s...
5 
Genetic diversity is the foundation for: 
Survival of trees on the restoration site 
• Origin of seed must match site c...
A model for guiding restoration practice 
Which degraded areas are 
suitable for restoration of 
TDF ? 
Which degraded are...
A model for guiding restoration practice 
Which degraded areas are 
suitable for restoration of 
TDF ? 
Which degraded are...
A model for guiding restoration practice 
Which degraded areas are 
suitable for restoration of 
TDF ? 
Which degraded are...
A model for guiding restoration practice 
Which degraded areas are 
suitable for restoration of 
TDF ? 
Which degraded are...
Concluding remarks 
• Aichi Target 15: quantitative but also qualitative 
• One of the decisions of 12th COP of the CBD: 
...
Concluding remarks 
• Need for political commitment: create demand for good quality 
seeds of native species through regul...
Concluding remarks 
• Landscape approach to promote connectivity (gene flow and 
species migration) 
• Evaluate effectiven...
Thank you 
e.thomas@cgiar.org 
www.bioversityinternational.org
The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change
The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change
The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change
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The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change

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The 2014 Global Landscapes Forum explored the role of sustainable landscapes in the new climate and development agenda along different themes, such as the implementation of integrated landscapes approaches and the link between landscapes and the green economy.

Evert Thomas, Associate Expert on the conservation of forest genetic resources at Bioversity International, highlighted the importance of restoration in climate adaptation and resilience at the Global Landscapes Forum.

Learn more about his work: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/news/detail/adding-science-to-the-landscape-evert-thomas-chats-about-restoration/

Published in: Environment
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The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change

  1. 1. The importance of genetic considerations in ecosystem restoration for enhancing resilience against climate change Evert Thomas
  2. 2. Ecological Restoration The scale of on-going and planned restoration projects is enormous - Aichi 15 ~ 300 Mha by 2020 -Bonn challenge 150 Mha by 2020 -Initiative 20x20 20 Mha by 2020 in Latin America and the Caribbean Huge ecological, social and economic opportunities: Contributes to objectives of 3 Rio conventions: biodiversity conservation, combatting desertification, climate change mitigation and adaptation + ecosystem services, income generation…
  3. 3. 3 • Initial mortality • Poor growth • Delayed mortality or after extreme climate events (eg. Plantation of 30.000ha of Pinus pinaster in France with non-frost resistant germplasm from Spain destroyed in winter 84/85) • Reduction in quantity and quality of seeds in established tree stands, compromising viability Risks of failure
  4. 4. How reduce risks and failures • Good silvicultural practices • Appropriate species choices • Genetic principles in selection of planting material
  5. 5. 5 Genetic diversity is the foundation for: Survival of trees on the restoration site • Origin of seed must match site conditions to ensure adaptedness Promoting good growth, reproduction and resilience over generations • Seed sources must be genetically diverse enough to avoid inbreeding and to contain sufficient genetic building blocks for natural selection
  6. 6. A model for guiding restoration practice Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? a. A list of all possible species with known propagation protocols and habitat suitability, now and in the future sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4 sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8 sp9 sp10 Prioritization of plant species groups (PSG; 5-10 spp) will be based on functional traits related with site adaptability, resilience, capacity to nurture the establishment of other species, carbon sequestration, and socio-economic considerations. 22 b. Different options of species combinations that maximize functional diversity 33 C sp3 sp5 sp7 P S G sp9 sp3 40% 20% 40% Forest A,E B, D C sp5 10% 50% 40% Forest A,F B,D C,E Potential areas for restoration Relicts of TDF Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? Deep taproots and high root biomass: fire resistance and water and nutrient uptake `Superficial roots and high wood density : erosion control and high carbon sequestration Fast growing large leaves, (shade production) and abundant production of fleshy fruits: avoid proliferation of heliophytes and provide conditions for germination of shadeloving species + attracting seed dispersing birds Nitrogen fixation and abundant leaf litter production: improve soil fertility A for establishment other species B D E F 44 Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. 11 COLOMBIA C
  7. 7. A model for guiding restoration practice Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? a. A list of all possible species with known propagation protocols and habitat suitability, now and in the future sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4 sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8 sp9 sp10 Prioritization of plant species groups (PSG; 5-10 spp) will be based on functional traits related with site adaptability, resilience, capacity to nurture the establishment of other species, carbon sequestration, and socio-economic considerations. 22 b. Different options of species combinations that maximize functional diversity 33 C sp3 sp5 sp7 P S G sp9 sp3 40% 20% 40% Forest A,E B, D C sp5 10% 50% 40% Forest A,F B,D C,E Potential areas for restoration Relicts of TDF Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? Deep taproots and high root biomass: fire resistance and water and nutrient uptake `Superficial roots and high wood density : erosion control and high carbon sequestration Fast growing large leaves, (shade production) and abundant production of fleshy fruits: avoid proliferation of heliophytes and provide conditions for germination of shadeloving species + attracting seed dispersing birds Nitrogen fixation and abundant leaf litter production: improve soil fertility A for establishment other species B D E F 44 Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. 11 COLOMBIA C
  8. 8. A model for guiding restoration practice Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? a. A list of all possible species with known propagation protocols and habitat suitability, now and in the future sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4 sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8 sp9 sp10 Prioritization of plant species groups (PSG; 5-10 spp) will be based on functional traits related with site adaptability, resilience, capacity to nurture the establishment of other species, carbon sequestration, and socio-economic considerations. 22 b. Different options of species combinations that maximize functional diversity 33 C sp3 sp5 sp7 P S G sp9 sp3 40% 20% 40% Forest A,E B, D C sp5 10% 50% 40% Forest A,F B,D C,E Potential areas for restoration Relicts of TDF Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? Deep taproots and high root biomass: fire resistance and water and nutrient uptake `Superficial roots and high wood density : erosion control and high carbon sequestration Fast growing large leaves, (shade production) and abundant production of fleshy fruits: avoid proliferation of heliophytes and provide conditions for germination of shadeloving species + attracting seed dispersing birds Nitrogen fixation and abundant leaf litter production: improve soil fertility A for establishment other species B D E F 44 Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. 11 COLOMBIA C
  9. 9. A model for guiding restoration practice Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Which degraded areas are suitable for restoration of TDF ? Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What is the most appropriate combination of seed sources for each of the species, ensuring site adaptability and genetic diversity of planting material? + Recommendations on best practices to collect seeds What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? What species or groups of species are most recommendable for restoration objectives in each area ? a. A list of all possible species with known propagation protocols and habitat suitability, now and in the future sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4 sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8 sp9 sp10 Prioritization of plant species groups (PSG; 5-10 spp) will be based on functional traits related with site adaptability, resilience, capacity to nurture the establishment of other species, carbon sequestration, and socio-economic considerations. 22 b. Different options of species combinations that maximize functional diversity 33 C sp3 sp5 sp7 P S G sp9 sp3 40% 20% 40% Forest A,E B, D C sp5 10% 50% 40% Forest A,F B,D C,E Potential areas for restoration Relicts of TDF Base map: Current distribution TDF + potential areas for TDF restoration What are the most important future changes in climate that can be expected in each potential area? Deep taproots and high root biomass: fire resistance and water and nutrient uptake `Superficial roots and high wood density : erosion control and high carbon sequestration Fast growing large leaves, (shade production) and abundant production of fleshy fruits: avoid proliferation of heliophytes and provide conditions for germination of shadeloving species + attracting seed dispersing birds Nitrogen fixation and abundant leaf litter production: improve soil fertility A for establishment other species B D E F 44 Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. Practical and illustrative propagation protocols (sexual and asexual) of the prioritized species. 11 COLOMBIA C
  10. 10. Concluding remarks • Aichi Target 15: quantitative but also qualitative • One of the decisions of 12th COP of the CBD: “[...] Invites Parties and other Governments, intergovernmental organizations and other relevant organizations [...] to give due attention to both native species and genetic diversity in conservation and restoration activities, while avoiding the introduction and preventing the spread of invasive alien species” 13
  11. 11. Concluding remarks • Need for political commitment: create demand for good quality seeds of native species through regulatory frameworks and resource allocation • Decision making by restoration practitioners needs to be knowledge-based: guidelines and protocols have to be available in useful format • Apply adaptive management: learn from mistakes and failures and continuously integrate new knowledge 14
  12. 12. Concluding remarks • Landscape approach to promote connectivity (gene flow and species migration) • Evaluate effectiveness of different methods to establish viable ecosystems and restore genetic diversity: adequate indicators and monitoring protocols • Great potential of restoration for contributing to conservation goals (endangered species, assisted migration, etc) • 15
  13. 13. Thank you e.thomas@cgiar.org www.bioversityinternational.org

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