LIFE BACCATA project integrates genetic information into EUFORGEN and EUFGIS

LIFE BACCATA project, whose main objective is to improve the conservation status of habitat 9580* in the Cantabrian Mountains, has met another of its goals set at the beginning of the project. After extensive genetic sampling of yew (Taxus baccata) populations, the main species of habitat 9580*, the project has generated valuable information about them that has been shared with the EUFORGEN project, and the EUFGIS platform. EUFORGEN is the international cooperation program promoting the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources in Europe, as a vital part of sustainable forest management. EUFGIS is the georeferenced information system about the conservation of forest genetic resources in Europe, which provides access to a platform with detailed information about the genetic conservation units of forest species in different countries. The transfer and integration of the information generated by LIFE BACCATA has been carried out with the collaboration of the different entities that manage both tools in Spain: the INIA-CSIC, the CITA of Aragón and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO).

From the genetic sampling of LIFE BACCATA, information has been available on a total of 49 yew localities in the Cantabrian Mountains across Galicia, Asturias, Castilla y León, Cantabria, Euskadi and Northern Portugal. Because of this, the project has far exceeded the initial objective of characterizing 15 units (one for each Natura 2000 SAC where 9580* habitat restoration actions are carried out), including localities inside and outside the Natura 2000 Network, and increasing the spectrum of regions to characterize (Asturias, Cantabria or Northern Portugal were not in the foreseen areas). The information of the 49 localities has been shared with the EUFORGEN project and the EUFGIS platform, updating and greatly improving the information contained in both with respect to Taxus baccata in the Iberian Peninsula. In this way, in EUFORGEN core network a new Forest Genetic Conservation Unit has been created in EUFGIS according to the criteria of the platform and the EUFORGEN program, and one of the existing ones will be redistributed thanks to the information from LIFE BACCATA. In addition, the information available for the rest of the units in Northern Iberian Peninsula will be improved.


The project has also exceeded the objectives set at its beginning with respect to the platforms and entities with whom the information generated is shared. Derived from the transfer of genetic information to EUFORGEN and EUFGIS, and thanks to the important role played by INIA-CSIC, CITA and MITECO in that process, the information from the 49 localities has also become part of the Spanish National Network of Conservation Genetic Units, whose regulatory framework is currently being developed in the form of a Royal Decree. This will enable that when that Royal Decree is approved, the information will be supplied to the corresponding regions for approval and incorporation into the regulatory framework.

LIFE BACCATA partnership could not be more satisfied with the transferability and replicability of the project, as well as with the impact achieved by the exchange of yew genetic information between the project, competent entities and available projects/platforms.