Furthermore, indicators for sustaining genetic diversity are considered difficult to measure, costly and tend to not be implemented (Parviainen and Lier, 2006, Wijewardana, 2006, Anon, 2011 and Aravanopoulos, 2011). Among the countries participating in the Montreal Process there was “no scientific agreement on how the data should be collected” and “little or no understanding of how to measure an indicator” (Parviainen and Lier, 2006). To date, the limited action taken to assess efforts to conserve
genetic diversity of trees has been indirect and almost entirely related to response indicators. While tree genetic diversity can be correctly managed and protected in FSC- or PEFC-certified forests or in protected areas, there is no guarantee that it will be. Reporting on response indicators alone without measuring state indicators (as, for example, in the Pan European Small molecule library high throughput Process, Forest Europe et al., 2011 and Nivet et al., 2012) can result in misleading
conclusions because well-intentioned policies and management practices do not necessarily result in an improved conservation status for tree genetic diversity. Overall, in particular, the identification of state indicators at the global level remains a major challenge. A global programme for conservation and management of forest genetic resources was initiated by FAO early in the 1960s Selleckchem BYL719 (FAO, 1975) and several regional networks on forest genetic resources were established at the initiative of FAO and Bioversity International (then as IBPGR, later IPGRI) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During that period, several reviews of the state of forest genetic resources covering different geographical areas were prepared (Palmberg-Lerche, 2007), and a wealth of reports is available (FAO Forest Genetic Resources Working Papers, 2013). However, in general, the information about
characterization of genetic diversity is more descriptive than quantitative. A survey in the early 1990s led to the establishment of REFORGEN (FAO Forest Genetic Resources REFORFGEN Database, 2013), Thalidomide but it also contains little quantitative information on intra-specific variation. The three most recent global forest resource assessments of FAO have dealt with the species level in different ways, by assessing endangered or threatened species, number of native tree species and the tree species composition of the growing stock, repectively (FAO, 2001a, FAO, 2006 and FAO, 2010a). It should be noted that such parameters in themselves are of limited value as indicators of genetic diversity. For parameters to be useful as indicators they must not only be quantified and available in time series, but also qualified in a relevant context (see FAO, 2001a). A general problem is, for example, the apparent discrepancy between a seemingly well-known number of endangered species and much more uncertainty about the total number of species.