Forests that are resilient to the climates of the future and capable of improving the performance of their ecosystem services are key to developing and strengthening a powerful forest bioeconomy in Europe. The OptFORESTS project aims to work towards the future adaptation of forests by harnessing Forest Genetic Resources (FGR), and supporting their conservation and sustainable use through the following main lines of work and objectives: - Conducting research on the selection of diverse forest reproductive material (FRM), including mixtures, adapted to future climates - Fostering sustainable use and resilience of natural forests - Helping expand and diversify nursery production - Developing nature-based solutions (NBS), tools (e.g, expanded Information Systems) and cultural trajectories to promote forest biodiversity and ecosystem services - Demonstrating biodiversity solutions.
As main work stream activities, OptFORESTS will carry out genetics, modelling, stakeholder surveys, expert panels and socio-economic analyses. These will be complemented by studying the effects of silviculture and landscape heterogeneity on genetic diversity and the development of new silvicultural options for genetically mixed forests, to be implemented through training software (marteloscopes) and long-term demonstration plots. Other action lines of OptFORESTS will include assessment of the European nursery sector, forecasting of future FRM needs, development of plant production technologies and cooperation between nurseries.
EFI leads WP8 “Communication and Information Systems expansion and link”.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101081774