Project Background

ForGen is a collaborative research programme involving University College Dublin, Coillte, Teagasc and the National Botanic Gardens. As part of the ForGen programme, we are currently undertaking a number of studies on the phylogeography and genetic diversity of Irish tree species. The target species of the study are Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Birch (Betula spp.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). The programme will also assess levels of genetic variation in other native species such as oak. The results hope to provide useful baseline information to help the forestry sector. As part of the project the NBG have setup and maintain a National Forest Tree DNAbank, which is a store of DNA for future research.

Project Aims

The project aims to establish phylogeographical patterns for native tree species and to assess levels of genetic diversity with Irish populations. Populations of pine will be tested to assess the native/introduced status of various stands. The project has also setup a National Forest Tree DNAbank into which the DNA samples are being deposited for future use.

Project Staff and Partners

Colin Kelleher (National Botanic Gardens), Philippe Cubry (National Botanic Gardens). Collaborations with UCD, Coillte and Teagasc. ForGen is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.