Research Gap Analysis for Application of Biotechnology to Sustaining US Forests

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The expanding human population of the world is placing greater demand on forest resources, both natural forests and plantations. Both types of forests are being adversely affected in North America as well as in other parts of the world, due to the globalization of trade and to climate change and associated changes in pest and disease incidence. Biotechnology may help to accelerate the progress of breeding programs working to develop trees with increased pest and disease resistance; better productivity and form; improved wood properties for pulp, solid wood, and bioenergy products; increased tolerance to adverse sites; and greater carbon sequestration. Key gaps in current scientific understanding limit these developments, but social acceptance of transgenic trees is also a major limitation. The process of acceptance of genetically engineered trees for use in commercial forests will require the coordinated effort of all parties, including forest biotechnologists, forest ecologists, regulatory agencies, and landowners.

Keywords: abiotic stress; disease resistance; invasive pests; phytoremediation; wood quality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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