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Evaluating interior spruce genetic resource management practices through GIS-based tracking of seed deployment over time in British Columbia Ding, Chen

Abstract

To improve current understanding of how genetically improved stocks are spatially and temporally deployed, tree breeders, gene resource managers, and forestry research community can gain insights from an analysis of currently available geospatial data. This analysis can also help and provide the raw material for better understanding of the relationship between gene resource management (GRM) and issues related to climate change and other risks such as the current mountain pine beetle epidemic. GIS links the latest information management concepts and methods to assist GRM achieve higher genetic gain, resilience and conservation goals. According to the Chief Forester's standards for seed use and the target of the Forest Genetics Council of BC, 75% of seed use will be from selected seed sources. This research developed a GIS based method to monitor and assess the spatial temporal variability of seed deployment in one seed planning zone of interior spruce and employed map representations to visualize the spatial cluster dynamics of reforestation plantations in BC. The investigation of deployment areas and stem number of seed stock inform our knowledge of forest recovery in the context of gene resources management. Class A and B⁺ seed use increased dramatically after 1995 in the Prince George Seed Production Zone (SPZ). The A class ratio in PG total seed deployment is 48.1% from 1995 to 2004 with seed orchard 214 being the leading seed source for Sx reforestation in PG at the SPU level. The Sub-boreal spruce zone is the main natural habitat area of Sx, where intensive forest management activity undergoes as the plantation hotspots. Observed changes in genetic class indicate the intensive reforestation with selected seed sources. The applicability of GIS modeling methods is available at different SPZ levels and species scopes. The system construction of an updated GRM criteria and decision making support is noteworthy for BC foresters to more wisely harvest, recover, and manage the forests in a more sustainable manner.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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