It is essential that planting stock used in Ireland is genetically suited to Irish growing conditions, producing high quantities of the desired products and is resilient to current and future threats (e.g. pests, diseases, climate change). Therefore, it is important that research work is undertaken to help us meet these challenges. To this end, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has funded a new project on Forest Management, which aims to build on past achievements in tree improvement while at the same time addressing the new challenges.
The project includes three interlinked workpackages:
- Tree improvement.
- Breeding for resistance to Chalara (dieback) disease in ash.
- Identifying potential pest threats to Sitka spruce.
Benefits of the Research
This project will foster the development of capacity building in the area of tree improvement and forest health research in Ireland. The findings of the research in all areas will inform the legislative and regulatory framework in relation to the use of genetic material to enhance productivity and that are most resilient to diseases and pests. The research will help build a critical mass of expertise (mostly post-docs), which will be beneficial in helping to focus the future research agenda in tree improvement and plant health in Ireland.
The FORM project is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers from four institutions:
- University College Dublin.
- Maynooth University,
- Teagasc Ashtown
- Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,