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Multi-actor perspectives on afforestation and reforestation strategies in Central Europe under climate change

Key message Understanding forest genetic diversity and national legislation on trade and utilization of forest reproductive material (FRM) are key aspects for management and adapting forests to climate change. Despite concerns about the negative effects of climate change on forests, awareness of the role of genetic diversity in climate change adaptation is limited. • Context Adaptive forest management strategies such as afforestation and reforestation depend on the selection of appropriate FRM and their knowledge among the relevant stakeholders. • Aims To analyze the perceptions among the forest, conservation, and nursery managers of six Central European countries on awareness of genetic diversity and practical and legislative issues of afforestation and reforestation in climate change. • Methods A survey was conducted with structured questionnaires. • Results Around 80% of the respondents believe in climate change. Local FRM is preferred for reforestation. Although 80% of the conservation and forest managers perceive the importance of forest genetic diversity, almost half of them feel unaware of it. The majority of respondents believe that national and European legislation on seed transfer is not adapted to climate change. • Conclusion Inadequacy in the awareness of genetic diversity and policies on FRM is likely to influence forest adaptation to climate change in Europe.

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