A UPV/EHU and Neiker-Tecnalia study results the importance of booking for new varieties of pine resistant to climate change
The Monterey pine of the Basque Country is precisely one of the less tolerant to the lack of water.
The Monterey pine is the most common tree species of the forests of the Basque Country. In the same way as in the other types of pine, lack of water is one of the factors that most affects its survival and productivity. So far, the high and regular rainfall of the Basque Country has favoured the cultivation and high productivity of this species. This situation could change over the coming years if, according to the climate change predictions, there is an increase in the average temperatures and an increase in the frequency and intensity of the drought periods. Therefore, it is necessary to introduces new varieties of Monterey pine that is more resistant to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, it is significant that the Monterey pine of the Basque Country was one of the ecotypes that most suffered the lack of water. Introducing more drought tolerant varieties of Monterey Pine would have no negative impact on the existing biodiversity in the Basque Country, as it would simply involve changing one variety for another. The research has an important impact on the timber industry of the Basque Country, as one of its main crops is the Monterey pine, due to the high productivity and quality of its timber. The sector may take into account the most appropriate varieties within their improvement programmes.
In order to simulate the predicted scenario of less water and its impact on the survival of forestry masses, Nuria De Diego, with a PhD thanks to the grant awarded by the Department for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries, along with NEIKER-Tecnalia specialists and of the Department of Plant Biology at the UPV/EHU, have assessed the response of different ecotypes or varieties of Monterey pine from different geographical and climate zones around the world given hydric stress situations. On 16 February, the study was defended under the name “Drought response of the Pinus radiata D. Don and its involvement in the tolerance processes”. A part of the research conducted by De Diego will be soon published in one of the most important journals in the forestry field: Tree Physiology.