© 2006

Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers

  • Claire.G Williams


  • This book shows that genetically engineered forest trees are now feasible on a commercial scale

  • First book to lay out pros and cons on the genetically engineered conifer forests to a broader audience looking at the question from different disciplines

  • It was written for decision-making in private and public sectors by authors from 7 countries offering controversial statements about the future of this technnology


Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-17
  2. Pros and cons for Transgenic Conifer Plantations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jesse H. Ausubel, Paul E. Waggoner, Iddo K Wernick
      Pages 13-29
  3. Genomics Methods, Resources and Alternative Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jeffrey F.D. Dean
      Pages 55-74
    3. Kermit Ritland, Steven Ralph, Dustin Lippert, Dainis Rungis, Jörg Bohlmann
      Pages 75-84
    4. Eric D. Brenner, Dennis Stevenson
      Pages 85-106
    5. Hely Häggman, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
      Pages 107-118
  4. Viewing Transgenic Conifer Plantations on a Landscape Scale

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gabriel Katul, Claire G. Williams, Mario Siqueira, Davide Poggi, Amilcare Porporato, Heather McCarthy et al.
      Pages 121-146
    3. Jeffry B. Mitton, Claire G. Williams
      Pages 147-168
  5. Economics of Transgenic Technology Adoption

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Mark A. Megalos
      Pages 209-225
  6. Government Regulations and Biosafety

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Anne-Christine Bonfils
      Pages 229-243
    3. Ruth Irwin, Phillip B.C. Jones
      Pages 245-261

About this book


What is the future of genetically modified (or transgenic) conifer plantations? The content of this edited volume Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers addresses this question directly - and indirectly - using language drawn from policy, forest history, genomics, metabolism, pollen dispersal and gene flow, landscape ecology, evolution, economics, technology transfer and regulatory oversight. Although the book takes its title from a Nicholas School Leadership forum held November 17-19, 2004 at Duke University, its de novo contents move past the forum’s deliberations. The result is a trans-disciplinary book composed of 14 chapters written by a total of 31 authors working in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.

The book is written for policy experts, life scientists, government and business leaders, biotechnology writers and activists. Few decision-makers realize the unprecedented degree to which transgenic technology is now possible for forests on a commercial scale. Only a handful of the 550 living conifer species used for commodity value and even fewer species are being developed for transgenic plantations. Transgenic field trials started within the last decade but no transgenic pine plantations exist in 2005. But emergence of transgenic forest trees is still so recent that dialogue about the pros and cons is confined to the scientific community. And dialogue must move out into the public domain.

The goal of this volume is to provide content for public deliberations about the genetic composition of future forests. Its Section I is composed of provocative and opposing views on the question of transgenic conifer plantations. Sections II and III follow with research advances on relevant conifer genomics and ecology research, respectively. Section IV forecasts rates of technology adoption for different case studies. Finally, Section V compares the status of regulatory oversight of transgenic forest trees between Canada and the United States. But will the book fulfil its goal? The burden of the answer lies with its readers. Will readers act – or will transgenic forests be seen as too remote or simply too rural to bother with the angst of public deliberation?


Bur Seed biotechnology conifers ecology evolution forest forest trees

Editors and affiliations

  • Claire.G Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

Bibliographic information