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Monitoring and managing genetic diversity in Sitka spruce

Carried out by: Forest Research/Edinburgh University

Summary Description:

This study will quantify baseline levels and changes in genetic diversity during the course of the UK's Sitka spruce genetic improvement programme.  Using microsatellite markers, the study will first determine the quantitative measures of genetic diversity in native QCI populations and unimproved commercial stands of Sitka spruce in the UK to estimate any reduction in genetic diversity that occured in the introduction process.

The project will then go on to measure how this introduced genetic diversityhas changed as a consequence of the different tree improvement strategies, either seed orchards or vegetative propogation, employed to produce stock.

The study will provide important information to help guide the future development of the Sitka spruce improvement programme.

Timescale: 2018-2021

SFT Funds Awarded: £28,183

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Scottish Forestry Trust is a registered charity (Scottish Charity No. SC008465).