The SAS proposals for participation in FP6 projects
are listed in blocks according to the FP6 priority theme structure

FP6 priority
1.1.6   Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems
Title of the proposal

Restoration of damaged stands of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in polluted areas of Central Europe using Abies interspecific hybrids

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology
Akademicka 2, P.O.Box 39A, SK-950 07 Nitra, Slovak Republic
+421 37 73 366 59

Research subject for a potential FP6 project

Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) is one of the most endangered species of Central Europe whose pro-portion in forests of Slovakia has diminished from 9 % in 1953 to only 4 % at present. High sensi-tivity of the species to the pollutants is believed to be the main cause of its wasting away. Over 20 years lasting experiments with artificial hybridization of Abies species at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology SAS proved unequivocally an increased tolerance of the interspecific hybrids towards pollution. There exist several permanent test plots in densely polluted areas of Slovakia involving 15 interspecific hybrids between the Mediterranean firs A. alba, A. cephalonica, A. nordmanniana, A. cilicica and A. pinsapo as well as between the North American species A. concolor and A. grandis on which performance of the hybrids is tested. The hybrids ranging in age between 9 and 20 years perform there much better than pure silver fir. This ability of hybrids is referred to as adaptive heterosis and is supposed to be due to a higher heterozygosity of the hybrids resulting in their better adaptability to the new ecological niches. This property of hybrids is of paramount importance in the environment with a high selection pressure of emissions and some other impacts of civilization. Except for the test plots, there is also available the seedling material in nurseries of 1-5 year age prepared for outplanting.The proposed project aims at evaluation of the height growth performance and resistance of the hybrids on existing plots as well as at describing metabolic and physiological processes underlying hybrid heterosis. Also, the production of additional interspecific hybrids is planned by means of artificial hybridization experiments. The hybrid seeds produced annually are offered for testing the hybrids in other parts of Europe as well.

Recent international cooperation of the research team

-Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute, Hørsholm, Denmark
-The Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University, Arboretum Hørsholm, Denmark
-Bundesforschungsanstalt fur Forst- und Holzwirtschaft, Institut fur Forstgenetik und Forstpflanzenzuchtung, Grosshansdorf, Germany

Proposerīs relevant publications related to the research subject

KORMUTAK, A., 1979: Artificial hybridization of some Abies species. Biologia (Bratislava) 34:310-319
KORMUTAK, A., 1985: Study on species hybridization within the genus Abies. Acta Dendrobiologica, VEDA Bratislava, 119 pp.
KORMUTAK, A., VOOKOVA, B., 2001: Early growth characteristics of some Abies hybrids. In: Genetic Response of Forest Systems to Changing Environmental Conditions (Eds. Muller-Starck, M., Schubert, R.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, London-Dordrecht-Boston-London, 331-338