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Over a hundred genetic reserves set up to protect the most precious wood tree populations

2014-11-12

In support of the Government’s proposal, the Ministry of Environment has set up 112 national genetic reserves for wood trees to preserve the most valuable tree populations in their natural habitats and to ensure the continuity of their genetic features. These reserves have been selected over the last two decades based on the sustainability, growth and fructification of stands, the shape of overgrowth, the quality of timber and other criteria.

The total area of the 112 new reserves is 1,582 ha. The largest reserve, the one devoted to the pine tree of Meškapieviai forest, covers 150.8 ha whereas the smallest one for Milkytai forest birch totals 1.2 ha. The genetic reserves will be used not only to preserve the unique local genotypes of tree species but also to collect seeds and sprouts for growing wood foundation stock and for propagating the seed plantations.

An European programme for genetic wood resources has been running for more than 15 years across Europe which describes preserving of these resources in their genetic reserves as one of the most important and reliable ways of ensuring the conservation of tree populations which are the most resistant to the environmental conditions and the most valuable in their natural habitats.

Lithuania, among others, has participated in the programme since 1996. Our country adopted a Law on National Genetic Plant Resources back in 2001.

Public information division
12 November 2014

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas