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Procurement of highly-productive and suitable forest reproductive material for future forests under climate change

Timber is an important raw material with the positive property of sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2). The joint project lays the foundation for a sustainable supply of markets with high-quality forest reproductive material (FRM). FRM needs to show a sufficient genetic diversity, in order to secure productivity in stable and adaptable stands, even under novel conditions due to a changing climate. Apart from an increased productivity (carbon sequestration) the project also aims at enhancing wood-quality. This is a precondition for a cascade utilization of timber, which means that it is used one or several times materially before it is used for energy generation.

Background and Objective

Within the subproject the work on the species Douglas-fir and Scots pine will be coordinated, including a joint analysis of long-term field trial data. Plus trees of Douglas-fir, Norway spruce, Scots pine, larch, oak and sycamore maple will be selected in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and on test sites of the Thünen-Institute, and subsequently reproduced and bred. Single tree progeny testing of Scots pine will be initiated. Another focal point of the project is the accompanying genetic investigation of plus trees and stands of Douglas-fir.


This aim can be achieved on the basis of joint, inter-institutional analyses of data from long-term field trials. Valuable information for the revision of provenance recommendation and for the establishment of breeding zones can be obtained from such analyses. Furthermore, the selection of plus trees and their subsequent reproduction for the establishment of seed orchards can be based on such information. Forest owners, forestry enterprises, decision-makers and multipliers will be informed via a new web portal. Synergies and the remaining capacities in the field of forest tree breeding will be used efficiently due to the intensive networking of the partners in the joint project.


The main results of the project are:

  • 216 trial sites of the Thünen Institute, the Landesbetrieb Forst Brandenburg (LFB) and the Landesforsten Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LFoA-MV) with a total of approximately 86,000 data sets were processed for the project.
  • The evaluation of the trials led to applications for approval or approvals of basic material for Scots pine, sessile oak and European larch.
  • For Douglas fir, 3 breeding and deployment zones were defined, and for Scots pine 4 breeding and deployment zones.
  • For Douglas fir and Scots pine, 913 and 726 plus trees, respectively, were selected in test sites and stands. Of these, 823 plus trees of Douglas fir and 550 of Scots pine were successfully vegetative propagated for the establishment of the breeding populations, and genotyped.
  • A progeny test was established with 120 open pollinated families at 3 sites in Brandenburg (2) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (1).
  • Conclusions and recommendations for the approval of basic material for the production of forest reproductive material of Douglas fir, but also of other stand-forming and wind-pollinated tree species in Germany, were derived from the comparison and evaluation of the analysis results of different sized approved stands with Douglas fir, mixed stands and seed orchards.
  • In a 160-year-old stand with sessile oak a selection of mother trees and the resulting natural regeneration were analyzed by molecular makers. It turned out that the stand can be assumed to be naturally regenerated for several generations. Furthermore, the natural regeneration between the individual collection points is very heterogeneous and has a spatial-genetic structure.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2014 - 4.2019

More Information

Project funding number: 22WB400704 (vorm. 28W-B-4-007-04)
Funding program: Waldklimafonds (Programmbestandteil des Sondervermögens Energie- und Klimafonds)
Project status: finished


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