Trees and Woody Shrubs in our Forests - Forest Genetic Resources
By far the greatest part of forests is subject to use by forestry. This is based on the species of tree and shrub that grow naturally in By far the greatest part of forests is subject to use by forestry. This is based on the species of tree and shrub that grow naturally in Germany, the majority of these being made up by woody plants that are also indigenous; it is only in exceptional cases that such species have been introduced as neophytes and now belong to the native flora for some time past. The exclusive use of naturally-growing species in forestry represents a clear-cut distinction from agriculture. In principle, forest woody plants are wild plants, and not grown cultivated plants.
Genetic diversity is the condition for evolution and the basis for the adaptability, which in its turn ensures the survival of species. Genetic diversity is vital for a number of reasons.
Genetic diversity is the basis for a wide range of possible reactions to biotic and abiotic influences. This is of special importance with regard to the longevity of trees as, considering their dependency on location, they are not able to evade negative influences.
Taking into account the changing demands on the performance of forests, especially on the production of wood as raw material, a great genetic diversity makes it most likely that the needs of future generations will be fulfilled, also if environmental factors have altered.
For ethical reasons, genetic diversity has to be maintained out of responsibility towards future generations, so that those can find intact ecosystems, species and populations in their colourful variety that is characteristic for life.