Publications des agents du Cirad


Ex situ conservation of genetic resources in the Congo: case studies of two introduced species : Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla

Gouma R., Bouvet J.M., Vigneron P., Kimbouma N.. 2001. FAO Forest Genetic Resources (28) : p. 13-17.

Forest genetic resource conservation can be carried out in situ (on site, within natural stands) or ex situ (off site). Ex situ stand conservation, i.e., outside a species' natural distribution range, can be contemplated if the introduced species or population plays a significant economic, social or cultural role in the country of introduction. The example of two eucalyptus species (Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla) introduced into the Congo illustrates this point neatly. Industrial eucalyptus plantations represent a considerable economic asset in the Congo: close to 42 000 ha are planted and an estimated 450 000 tonnes of eucalyptus logs are exported every year for a turnover of 5 billion CFA francs. Besides, activities linked to wood harvesting provide around 4.000 jobs in a city of 500.000 inhabitants (Pointe-Noire) and thus have considerable social impact. In order to maintain and develop this industrial potential, Eucalyplus grandis and E. urophylla are utilized as parent species within the framework of an improvement strategy to produce hybrid clones E. urophylla x grandis. This article describes efforts made to prolong the survival of trial plots hosting the most promising species and provenances in order to maintain a broad genetic pool among base collections
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