Canadian Forest Service Publications

Life history and genetic diversity in red pine: implications for gene conservation in forestry. 1992. Mosseler, A. The Forestry Chronicle 68(6): 701-708.

Year: 1992

Available from: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 10744

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)


Red pine, Pinus resinosa Ait., is a suffusively rare species throughout its geographical range, occurring as small, highly fragmented populations. Such species are particularly vulnerable to the genetic and demographic stochasticity that can lead to local extinction and losses of genetic variation. Red pine illustrated the difficulty that species with long generation times have in recovering genetic diversity once it has been lost. Tree species that lose their genetic diversity may not recover the genetic variation required for effective adaptive responses to environmental challenges. Population declines in rare tree species should be viewed with greated concern by forest managers because the loss of a tree species threatens ecological stability and future economic potential in areas of limited biodiversity. Newfoundland's red pine population provides an example for a broader discussion of concepts in population ecology and genetics useful in developing gene conservation efforts for tree populations characterized by fragmented distributions, small populaiton sizes, and declining population numbers.

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