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Department of Forest Genetics
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The Department of Genetics is concerned with the analysis of genetic information about forest trees and other organisms living in the forest and the dynamics of genetic processes in forest stands. Environmental stress and forest management issues are also considered. Activities are based on genome research, population genetics and provenance research (gene ecology). The aim is to translate genetic knowledge into measures for biodiversity enhancement, genetically sustainable management of forests, protection and management of genetic resources and promotion of the adaptability and survival of complex forest ecosystems. In addition, the Department deals with breeding possibilities to increase the productivity and yield of tree species from plantations. Besides doing research the Department is charged with the enforcement of the Federal Act on Forest Reproductive Material in accordance with the EU Directive 1999/105/EC and relevant regulations to be applied by the Federal Forest Office (statutory tasks). Research projects are often conducted in close cooperation with other departments, universities, agricultural chambers, cultivation associations and forest enterprises in Austria and abroad. Emphasis is placed on professional management and monitoring of projects.

Priority Areas

Find new insights into genetic foundations of forest ecosystems, especially the relationship of genetic population structures with natural and human-induced environmental factors as well as genetic aspects of biodiversity, including modelling.

Investigate relationships between genetic structures and functional implementation of the information stored in genomes, depending on environmental factors.

Preserve forest genetic resources on a scientifically reliable basis and implement the National Programme for the Sustainable Use of Genetic Resources.
Study the genetic variation of economically important traits relevant for adaptation within and between indigenous and exotic forest tree populations (provenances).

Generate knowledge about the sexual reproduction of forest trees.

Main Tasks and Activities

  • Layout of provenance trials
  • Testing of forest seed material (laboratory)
  • Expert advice and decisions
  • Check on forest seed enterprises and nurseries
  • Certification of basic material for the production of forest reproductive material
  • Creation and maintenance of various data bases (e.g. National Register, PCR-Primer of Chloroplast Genome)
  • Recommendation of provenances for forest practice
  • Clone and variety check
  • Pollen deposition monitoring over the whole federal territory
  • Selection and certification of seed material for the production of forest reproductive material
  • Selection and management of gene reserves
  • Management of forest seed orchards
  • production and sale of forest seeds and plant material


Head of Department: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Geburek
Tel. +43-1-87838-2109, email:

Secretary Monika Lotter
Tel. +43-1-87838-2110, Fax: +43-1-87838-2250

1131 Wien, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8

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Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape
Austria, 1131 Vienna, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8 | Tel.: +43 1 878 38-0,
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