FORGENIUS Public Webinars kick off with focus on drought resistance and forest diversity

Exploring drought tolerance and the vital role of forest diversity in climate resilience: insights from the first edition of the FORGENIUS Webinar Series.

Photo: Xavier Morin

The H2020 FORGENIUS project, a European research initiative focused on forest genetic resources, hosted its first public webinar on 27 October. The webinar featured presentations from project member Dr. Nicolas Martin and keynote speaker Dr. Xavier Morin, who were introduced by the project coordinator, Dr. Ivan Scotti.

Dr. Martin highlighted that this research is a novel approach to intraspecific variability of tree drought risk quantification that needs to be validated using independent data such as climate gradient, in situ observations of drought damage, genomic, or tree ring width. Moreover, this approach could be integrated into dynamic vegetation models used to estimate future forest dynamics.

Dr. Morin highlighted the importance of forest diversity in mitigating the impacts of climate change. He explained how monospecific and mixed forests do not react to changes in the same way in areas such as productivity, biodiversity, resistance and resilience to climate change, resistance to windthrows, pathogens and herbivores, fires or microclimate buffering. Factors like space, age and structure also affect forests’ reaction to changes. Dr. Morin concludes that mature forests are species-richer, more resilient and multifunctional and can be more resistant to changing climate than young ones, hence the importance of preserving them.

You can watch the webinar’s recording here.

The FORGENIUS public webinar series provides a valuable opportunity for the public to learn about the diversity of European forests and their resilience to climate change. The first webinar was a successful start to the series, and it is hoped that future webinars will continue to inform and engage the public on this important topic. To learn more about the FORGENIUS project and its public webinar series, please visit the project website You can also follow the project on social media at @FORGENIUS_EU and subscribe to the newsletter.

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FORGENIUS project— an H2020 project, funded by the EU — will give an insight into the diversity of European forests and their resilience to climate change. The project uses state-of-the-art technology and knowledge in plant and evolutionary biology, ecology, remote-sensing, genomics, genetics, modelling, and forestry. It aims to upgrade the current European Information System on Forest Genetic Resources (EUFGIS) platform, by adding new types of data and information on the Genetic Conservation Units (GCU), allowing predictions of the fate of European forests in the short, medium, and long term.