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Now it is time to apply for the annual forest scholarship, the deadline for submitting applications is February 15 2023.

Now students, researchers and practitioners in forest breeding, seed or plant production and forest regeneration in the Nordic region can apply for the annual forest scholarships. This year, the scholarship was for example used for field work in Greenland and participation in a conference in Spain.

Exchange of knowledge and experiences is of the utmost importance for the development of Nordic forestry. That is why NordGen Forest and Nordic Forest Research (SNS) collaborate to support Nordic cooperation on forest activities, among other things,

by announcing an annual scholarship

for those who work or study in forestry. The scholarships are primarily intended for professionals in forest breeding, plant production or forest regeneration in the Nordic countries. Each applicant can be awarded a maximum amount of 25,000 NOK (approximately 2500 euro). The activity in question must be relevant in a Nordic setting and contribute to a common Nordic benefit.

Field Work in the Greenlandic Arboretum

Among those who received a scholarship in 2022 were Henrik Meilby, Professor, and Anders Ræbild, Associate professor, both active at the university of Copenhagen. Meilby and Ræbild used their scholarship to conduct fieldwork in the Greenlandic Arboretum, located in Narsarsuaq in the south part of Greenland. Through fieldwork in 2013 to 2021 they have covered approximately 50 percent of the tree collection in the Greenlandic Arboretum. During the trip in 2022, Meilby and Ræbild registered 148 new trees, which means that 1329 trees and shrubs have been registered in total. This registration includes more than 50 species, the duo believes that this amounts to about 60 percent of the species still alive at the site. “Testing species and provenances under different conditions helps understanding biogeographical patterns and may provide indications of the adaptive capacity of a plant material”, says Henrik Meilby and continues: “In a time of climate change this is particularly useful, both at the original site where it may show whether the local plant material is capable of adapting to expected future conditions, and at potential planting sites where it may indicate which species are likely to thrive if planted.”

Potential for Tree Growth

Meilby and Ræbild have noticed that the trees are growing, and for some species even growing relatively fast. However, they cannot assign the fast growth clearly to climate change. The trees are still relatively young and in a phase where many trees would increase their growth, independently of climate. “What we can say is that under the current climatic conditions, there is a potential for tree growth beyond what is seen in the native birch forests. A number of species show relatively good performance in Narsarsuaq, including Larix sibirica, Populus trichocarpa, Picea engelmannii, Pinus cembra

and a few others,” says Anders Ræbild. He adds that the trees are still young and probably need monitoring for a longer time before they can draw any firm conclusions. The duo plan to continue fieldwork and hope to publish the main results of the work over the next four to five years. Another person who received a scholarship from NordGen and SNS during 2022 is Feng Long, a PhD student that also is active at the university of Copenhagen. She participated in the 7th IUFRO International Workshop on Genetics of Tree-Parasite Interactions in Forestry, an event that was hosted in Pontevedra, Spain. In this workshop, she did an oral presentation about one of her PhD projects, which is “Twig mycobiome of European ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

is shaped by environmental factors”. “I learned new knowledge about priming, which could be used for improving tree defence against pathogens. Also, I learned the status of tree health across Europe. In addition, I have expanded my network through this workshop, which could help me to start potential collaboration in the future”, says Feng Long.  

NordGens and SNS’s forest scholarship

  • On this site

    you will find the information you need about the scholarship, the deadline for applications is 15 February.

  • In April, selected scholarship holders will be announced.

  • In 2022, six scholarship holders shared a total of 118,000 NOK.

The top photo shows a view from the Greenlandic Arboretum, photo by Henrik Meilby.