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The European Forest Institute (EFI) was established in 1993 in Joensuu, Finland with the aim of enhancing international forest research and providing decision-makers with unbiased forest-related information at a pan-European level. Twenty years later, EFI has grown and developed into a vibrant international organisation, with 25 Country Members and...
B4EST is a H2020 funded European collaborative project, with 19 partners from 9 European countries, and led by Dr Catherine Bastien, INRA, France. The goal of B4EST is to increase forest survival, health, resilience and productivity under climate change and natural disturbances, while maintaining genetic diversity and key ecological functions, and fostering a competitive EU bio-based economy. B4EST is working with the most economically, ecologically, or socially important tree species in Europe. These include: six native species (Scots pine, Norway spruce, common ash, stone pine, maritime pine), and two non-native species (Douglas-fir, and Eucalyptus species). This list also provides northern, southern, oceanic and continental interest across Europe. It also provides a range of species to study: climate impacts (biotic and abiotic), levels of genetic diversity and adaptive potential, phenotypic plasticity and acclimation potential, genomic breeding tools, the potential of genetic polymorphisms, and the local and regional aspects of forest reproductive material management to improve forest survival, health, resilience and productivity under climate change. The project will provide forest tree breeders, forest managers and owners, and policy makers with: 1) better scientific knowledge on adaptation profiles and sustainable productivity, and added value of raw materials in important European tree species for forestry, 2) new and flexible adaptive tree breeding strategies, 3) tree genotypes of highly adaptive and economical value, 4) decision-support tools for the choice and use of Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) while balancing production, resilience and genetic diversity, including case studies developed with industrial partners, 5) integrative performance models to guide FRM deployment at stand and landscape level, 6) economic analyses of risks/benefits/costs, and 7) policy recommendations.