Camcore began its gene conservation efforts in Central America and Mexico in 1980 with a focus on pine species. There are about 175 pine species in the world, and about 40% occur in MesoAmerica. Many of the tree species in this part of the world were (and are) threatened due to human pressure of fuelwood harvesting, timber harvesting, and the conversion of forests to agriculture. To date, we have made conservation collections from 25 different pine species, 366 provenances, and 8506 mother trees.
Beginning in the 1996, Camcore began to work with conservation collections of Eucalpytus, specifically the species E. urophylla. The genera Eucalyptus is one of the most important for commercial forestry in the world, and most of the more than 700 eucalypt species are found in Australia. E. urophylla is one of two species that does not occur in Australia; it is found on seven islands in Indonesia. Camcore completed seed collections from 1996 to 2004 on all seven islands, and has the world’s largest genetic base of this species with 62 provenances and 1196 mother trees. Since that time, Camcore has expanded its conservation work to include other species of eucalpyts such as E. pellita (from Indonesia) and E. dorrigoensis (from Australia), and also acquired genetic resources of a number of other eucalypt and closely related Corymbia species, a total of 141 provenances and families.
Teak, Gmelina, and other Hardwoods
Finally, Camcore has made seed collections of two of the most widely planted and important commercial hardwood species, Tectona grandis (teak) and Gmelina arborea (gmelina). In total, we have 20 provenances/sources and 240 families/seedlots of teak, and 34 provenances and 516 families/seedlots of gmelina. We have also made conservation collections for 10 different threatened hardwood species in MesoAmerica, from a total of 49 provenances and 989 mother trees.