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Seed sourcing for woodland creation in an era of uncertainty: An analysis of the options for Great Britain

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    Rights statement: © Institute of Chartered Foresters, 2016. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

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Original languageEnglish
JournalForestry
Early online date9 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2016

Abstract

In recent years, British seed sourcing practice has tended to focus on the principle that “local-is-best” for native woodland creation. However, in the face of continuing and accelerating environmental change, the suitability of this approach has been called into question. In this article, we investigate the relevance and suitability of a series of seed sourcing strategies: maintaining the status quo by continuing to source local origin seed, sourcing seed from currently warmer locations, and the addition or replacement of species. Our main findings are that there are opportunities to increase the sophistication of existing guidance and that improvements would be timely. In any case, an important consideration is the capacity for newly established populations of trees to survive immediately and amidst increasingly variable environmental conditions. The current paucity of 2

knowledge of forest genetic resources in British populations of native tree species suggests that deviations from sourcing currently adapted planting stock are not uniformly applicable throughout the country and that any change to policy ought to be applied judiciously and only under a restricted set of circumstances.

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