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Dynamic of fructification and conservation of genetic resources of Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in light of climate changes

Domestic project

PROGRAMME: HRZZ Research Projects

STATUS: Ongoing
Project start: 01. Dec 2018.
Project end: 30. Nov 2022.
Contract body: Croatian Science Foundation


One of the most pressing problems of the forestry profession nowadays represents a frequent absence of seed crops of forest tree species. In changed ecological conditions, fructification and periodicity of crops are disrupted, and thus the regeneration of forests becomes increasingly questionable. Also, in forestry needs to be given special attention due to the specificities associated with forest trees such as a long cycle of growth and development, large areas, small opportunities for application of agrotechnical measures, etc. Use of forest reproductive material – the seed of high quality (and genetic and physiological) allows users efficient and effective regeneration – rejuvenation.

The main goal of the project „Dynamic of fructification and conservation of genetic resources of Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in light of climate changes“ is to ensure the conservation of gene pool the most important commercial species of deciduous trees in the area of Croatia. The objective is monitoring seed crops Pedunculate oak and Common beech in quantity and quality to determine the production potential of stands and new genetic tests complement the results of the knowledge of genetic diversity, adaptation and use, and circulation forest reproductive material with regard to provenance.

The key objectives of the project are to:

  1. Determine seed crop dynamics of the target species in changing environmental conditions of the local climatic region.
  2. Establish a methodology for more accurate estimation of their seed crops.
  3. Determine correlation between their masting (quantity and quality of the seed crops) and various environmental factors.
  4. Create a protocol for optimal seed storage of the target species.
  5. Establish field trials for ex situ conservation of their genetic resources.
  6. Increase knowledge about adaptive genetic diversity of the target species in the local region.
  7. Disseminate results to various users/stakeholders (forestry sector, legislators, private owners, etc.)


The aim is to apply the same research methodology to pedunculate oak and common beech.  By monitoring seed production in seed stands, the production potential of stands will be determined. The research results will prescribe the seed manipulation method from the moment of seed collection in seed generating facilities, through seed processing and treatment stages, until storage in the refrigerator. Also, procedures for optimum seed storage will be established, and the most suitable methods for protecting seed from the degradation caused by fungi and insects. The research will provide a better insight into the genetic diversity of the surveyed species. By establishing new experiments, we will establish the intrapopulation and interpopulation variability of different seed and plant characteristics to improve and ensure the preservation of gene pool of the most important commercial species of deciduous in Croatia. The research will be of great importance for science, the Croatian economy, and implementation in forestry practice.

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