Scientists devise new way to protect forests from habitat destruction

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sun shining through tall trees in forest

Globally, forest trees are increasingly at risk from habitat destruction …. But the guidelines for effective preservation of a tree species’ genetic diversity and adaptive potential have been limited [since] the 1970s ….

[Researchers] from The Morton Arboretum and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have developed a new …. approach …. that …. can be tailored for successful conservation of any species.

For the study, published this month in the journal Biological Conservation …. [scientists] evaluated current collecting efforts for European ash from [the] UK National Tree Seed Project (UKNTSP) …. which aims to secure genetically diverse collections of UK native trees and shrubs.

[Researchers] developed a model of a detailed genetic survey specific to ash trees, considering the amount and distribution of the species’ diversity. Greater seed sampling from trees in certain areas (such as margins versus centers of ranges) can prove beneficial.

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The researchers identified when an ash population had optimal seed sampling …. the amount of trees per population, and the quantity of seeds collected from each tree  ….

“This is a breakthrough for the future of tree conservation, as we can now better target our seed collecting efforts, which will help us save more tree species,” said Sean Hoban, Tree Conservation Biologist at The Morton Arboretum.

Read full, original article: New approach to conserving tree species

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