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« Forest Genetics Research in the Mediterranean Basin: Bibliometric Analysis, Knowledge Gaps, and Perspectives »

Fady B., Esposito E., Abulaila K., Aleksic J.M., Alia R., Alizoti P., Apostol E.N., Aravanopoulos P., Ballian D., Dagher Kharrat M. B., Carrasquinho I., Cheikh Albassatneh M., Curtu A.L., David-Schwartz R., De Dato G., Douaihy B., Homer Eliades N.G., Fresta L., Suheil Gaouar S.B., Hachi Illoul M., Ivetic V., Ivankovic M., Kandemir G., Khaldi A., Khouja M.L., Kraigher H., Lefèvre F., Mahfoud I., Marchi M., Pérez Martín F., Picard N., Sabatti M., Sbay H., Scotti-Saintagne C., Stevens D.T., Vendramin G.G., Vinceti B., Westergren M., « Forest Genetics Research in the Mediterranean Basin: Bibliometric Analysis, Knowledge Gaps, and Perspectives », Current Forestry Reports, 22 July 2022.

Abstract :

Purpose of Review: Recognizing that in the context of global change, tree genetic diversity represents a crucial resource for future forest adaptation, we review and highlight the major forest genetics research achievements of the past decades in biodiversity-rich countries of the Mediterranean region. For this, we conducted a bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature spanning the past thirty years (1991–2020). Putting together the representative regionwide expertise of our co-authorship, we propose research perspectives for the next decade.

Recent Findings: Forest genetics research in Mediterranean countries is organized into three different scientific domains of unequal importance. The domain “Population diversity and Differentiation” related to over 62% of all publications of the period, the domain “Environmental conditions, growth and stress response” to almost 23%, and the domain “Phylogeography” to almost 15%. Citation rate was trending the opposite way, indicating a strong and sustained interest in phylogeography and a rising interest for genetics research related to climate change and drought resistance. The share of publications from Asia and Africa to the total within the Mediterranean increased significantly during the 30-year period analyzed, reaching just below 30% during the last decade.

Summary: Describing poorly known species and populations, including marginal populations, using the full potential of genomic methods, testing adaptation in common gardens, and modeling adaptive capacity to build reliable scenarios for forest management remain strategic research priorities. Delineating areas of high and low genetic diversity, for conservation and restoration, respectively, is needed. Joining forces between forest management and forest research, sharing data, experience, and knowledge within and among countries will have to progress significantly, e.g., to assess the potential of Mediterranean genetic resources as assisted migration material worldwide.

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