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Genetic monitoring Trees and shrubs

Genetic monitoring investigates the modification of the genetic structure of important forest tree species. Against the background of climate change, genetic monitoring is becoming particularly important as an early warning system for ecosystem changes.

Genetic monitoring of forest trees

oak seedling (Source: BLE)

In Germany, the theoretical foundations of genetic monitoring were laid in 2004 with the development of a "Concept for genetic monitoring of forest tree species in the Federal Republic of Germany". The implementation of the concept is based on the "Guidelines for the implementation of genetic monitoring for major forest-forming tree species" (2008).

The aim of genetic monitoring is the long-term documentation of changes in the genetic structures of forest tree species through periodic documentation. It thus makes an essential contribution to assessing and evaluating the effect of influencing factors on the genetic system of forests.

Up to date, 13 genetic monitoring plots have been established in five German federal states for four tree species (Common Beech, Sessile and English Oak, Wild Cherry). In accordance with the requirements of the concept, both managed and unmanaged forests that have already been used as experimental forest areas, natural forests, seed stands or for environmental monitoring purposes were included.

The results of genetic monitoring serve forestry practice, nature conservation, policy advice, science and the exchange of information with other monitoring systems. This monitoring meets the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Forest Climate Fund is currently funding a project on the "Establishment of genetic monitoring for beech and spruce in Germany to assess the genetic adaptability of tree species to environmental changes" (GenMon).

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+49 0228 6845-3385

Dr. Michaela Haverkamp

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
53179 Bonn