|Biological Diversity||Ecosystem Condition and Productivity||Soil and Water||Role in Global Ecological Cycles||Economic and Social Benefits||Society's Responsibility|
|Ecosystem Diversity||Species Diversity||Genetic Diversity|
|Indicator 1.3.1 Genetic diversity of reforestation seed lots||Indicator 1.3.2 Status of in situ and ex situ conservation efforts for native tree species in each ecozone|
The conservation of genetic resources is therefore a key objective in sustainable forest management. Two indicators are used under Element 1.3 to track progress in managing and conserving Canada’s forest genetic resources.
Indicator 1.3.1 provides a simple description of the genetic diversity of parent trees used in seedlots, from which seedlings for reforestation are derived, and describes current efforts to monitor genetic diversity. This indicator suggests that the genetic diversity of seedlings used for reforestation is sufficiently robust to support the genetic adaptation required to respond to potential risks due to disturbance and changing environmental conditions. The indicator also highlights current Canadian efforts to monitor genetic diversity through the development of gene resource information management programs.
Indicator 1.3.2 describes the status of conservation efforts for native tree species. The indicator highlights how the effort to conserve forest genetic resources in Canada is achieved through the combined efforts of federal, provincial/territorial, and nongovernmental agencies using a combination of in situ and ex situ methods. While much has been accomplished across the country, challenges still remain. For instance, the Carolinian forest region of southern Ontario, the most biologically diverse in Canada, has become highly fragmented due to extensive land clearing for urbanization and agriculture. This has resulted in gene flow disruption and this forest now contains small communities of rare species at the northern limits of their ranges that may no longer consist of viable populations.