Research and Reports

This list of selected documents provides you with more information on GE tree issues from different actors. The links in the left column lead you to further publications of interest.

Please send us more publications on GE trees that should also be presented here.


Title:Biotechnology and Planted Forests:Assessment of Potential and Possibilities
Roger A. Sedjo
Organisation:Resources for the Future, USA
Source:Discussion Paper 00-06, Dec 1999

Abstract: The paper offers a description of recent innovations in tree breeding and biotechnology, including a discussion of innovations in agriculture that have promise for forestry. This is followed by a discussion of the current role of biotechnology in forestry and an assessment of the various types of biotechnological innovations that could be forthcoming in the next decade and beyond. Additionally, the paper examines the likely effects of biotechnology on the economics of forestry. An estimate is provided for the potential cost savings and/or value increases expected from the various innovations. Using these estimates, a quantitative assessment is made of global potential economic returns to the most immediate and major innovation, the herbicide tolerant trait. Additionally, estimates are made of the potential impact of cost savings realized from this type of biotechnology on future timber supplies in the global timber market.


Title:Biotechnology’s Potential Contribution to Global Wood Supply  and Forest Conservation
Roger A. Sedjo
Organisation:Resources for the Future, USA
Source:Discussion Paper 01–51, Nov 2001

Abstract: The benefits from the introduction of biotechnology to forestry are potentially large. The economic benefits will be found in the form of lower costs and increased availability to consumers of wood and wood products. Environmental benefits can be found in the rehabilitation through biotechnology of habitats under pressure either from an exotic disease, as with the American chestnut tree (Castenea dentate) in the United States, or from invasive exotics. Additionally, an implication of the increased productivity of planted forests due to biotechnology may be that large areas of natural forest might be free from pressures to produce industrial wood, perhaps thereby being better able to provide a more biodiverse habitat.  Also, through biotechnological improvements, trees can be modified to grow in previously unsuited areas such as arid lands, saline areas, and so forth, thereby providing missing environmental functions, such as watershed protection. Such uses could not only increase wood outputs, but might be appropriate for promoting increased carbon sequestration in forest sinks, thereby contributing to the mitigation of the global warming problem.


Title:Biotech and Planted Trees: Some Economic and Regulatory Issues
Roger A. Sedjo
Organisation:Forest Economics and Policy Program, Resources for the Future, USA
Source: AgBioForum, 6(3): 113-119, 2003

Abstract: In recent years, the application of biotechnology to agriculture has resulted in a host of changes and innovations. Transgenic (genetically modified) crops are now common in much of North American agriculture. Transgenic forestry is not yet at that level of commercial application. However, there are numerous biotechnological innovations under development in forestry, many of them adapted from agriculture. This paper provides an introduction and background into transgenic trees and forestry. It then discusses some aspects of the economic potential and the regulatory system related to transgenic trees.

Year of Publication

until 2003