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Research centre
For agriculture
And forestry

Dr. Alfas Pliūra

ORCiD iD: 0000-0003-0794-1359
Tel. +370 682 67 811
E-mail: alfas.pliura@lammc.lt
Liepų St. 1, Girionys, LT-53101 Kaunas dist., Lithuania



1974–1979 Degree of Forestry enginier (=Master of Sciences), Faculty of Forestry, Lithuanian Academy of Agriculture (since 2019 Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy), 

Academic degrees and pedagogical titles

2009 Habilitation procedure in Agricultural Sciences (Forest Science) “Genetic variation and phenogenetic plasticity of broadleaf trees in the context of changing environment, conservation of genetic resources and tree breeding”, Lithuanian University of Agriculture and Lithuanian Institute of Forestry.

1993 PhD in Agricultural Sciences (Forest Science), PhD topic “Genetic and biologic peculiarities of aspen (Populus tremula L.) populations, hybridisation and possibilities of breeding”.

Research fields

  • Eco-genetic response, adaptation and plasticity of forest tree species under different natural and simulated environment conditions
  • Quantitative, population and molecular genetics of forest tree species
  • Eco-genetic studies on adaptation, production and wood properties of poplar hybrids
  • Eco-genetic studies on disease resistance of forest trees
  • Forest regeneration and sustainability of forest ecosystems under climate change
  • Practical forest tree breeding and gene conservation, developing breeding programmes, delineation of breeding zones


2015‒2021 Chief Researcher, Department of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Institute of Forestry, LAMMC.

Since 2010 Professorship, Associated Professor in 2009, Lecturer in 2005‒2008, Faculty of Forestry and Ecology of the Aleksandras Stulginskis University (former Lithuanian University of Agriculture).

Memberships and affiliations with professional organisations

  • Member of Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  • Member of the Expert Commission on Forest Genetic Resources, Seed farming and Forest Regeneration at the Department of Forests of the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment
  • Member of Board of Forest Tree Breeders of Baltic States
  • Member of Society of Lithuanian Geneticists and Breeders
  • Member of Lithuanian Society of Foresters
  • Since 2013 Editor-in-chief of the international peer-reviewed scientific journal “Baltic Forestry”, member of the Editorial Board (since 2010)
  • Since 2011 Member of joint Aleksandras Stulginskis University and LAMMC PhD Committee
  • Since 2008 Expert reviewer of applications and project reports of international programmes COST, FP7 BIODIVERSA and EUREKA EUROSTARS and Lithuanian scientific organisations MITA, LVMSF, etc.
  • 2003 International review-expertise of Finland's Long-term Tree Breeding Program 2050 (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland)
  • 2000‒2004 National coordinator at the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN/IPGRI)
  • Since 2000 author and webmaster of the Internet information system on Lithuanian forest genetic resources http://www.forestgen.mi.lt (in English and Lithuanian)
  • 2000 Meeting of Nordic Group of Forest Geneticists and Breeders from Scandinavian and Baltic countries, co-organiser
  • 1998 Nordic Baltic in situ Symposium, co-organiser.
  • 1997‒2003 National representative at the Noble Hardwoods Network within the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN/IPGRI)
  • 1996‒2008 Managing editor of the national peer-reviewed scientific journal “Miškininkystė” and webmaster of journal website
  • 1994 IUFRO S.2.02.18 Symposium “Scots Pine Breeding and Genetics”, co-organiser

Involvement in programmes and projects

  • 2017‒2021 ESF Lithuanian Science Council Global grant R&D project “Insights into future forests: challenges of climate change and diseases, and possible measures for saving biodiversity and ecosystem functioning”, member of research group.
  • 2016‒2020 International project “Long Term Forest Research CoFoRD Programme: WP3 – FORM ‒ Forest Management ‒ Research required to investigate genetic resistance to ash dieback disease Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (anamorph Chalara fraxinea) and the development of disease resistant ash planting stock”, leader for Lithuania.
  • 2016 Preparation of HORIZON2020 programme proposal “FRAXTHREATS ‒ Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis): emerging and potential threats to European ash” (2017‒2021), participant.
  • 2015‒2018 Lithuanian Science Council National Science Programme “Sustainability of agro, forest and water ecosystems” project “Response and plasticity of different tree species & juvenile-stage forest communities under impact of climate change and other environmental stressors”, leader.
  • 2015‒2016 Ministry of Environment project “Evaluation and selection of hybrid poplar and hybrid aspen clones in clonal trials for vegetative propagation and crossing”, leader.
  • 2015‒2016, Ministry of Environment project “Evaluation of quality requirements for seedlings of native rare tree species at certain age being grown and transplanted in open air”, researcher.
  • 2015 Preparation of HORIZON2020 program proposal “ASHELM ‒ Restoration of European noble hardwood forest and woodland ecosystems devastated by invasive alien fungi: focus on ash and elm” (2016‒2020), participant.
  • 2013 Preparation of FP7 BIODIVERSA program proposal “ASHDIEBACK ‒ European Fraxinus species threatened by an invasive pathogen: impact, host-pathogen-environment interactions, adaptive potential and mitigation strategies” (2013‒2016), participant.
  • 2012‒2014 Lithuanian Science Council project “Eco-genetic control of resistance to the pathogen Chalara fraxinea in common ash”, leader.
  • 2012‒2014 Rural Development Program for 2007‒2013 Ministry of Agriculture project “Application and dissemination of scientific knowledge and innovations on establishing short rotation forest plantations of new bred tree species –poplars an wild cherries” under the “Professional education and information activity”, preparation of application and project implementation.
  • 2012‒2016 COST Action FP1103 “FRAXBACK ‒ Fraxinus dieback in Europe: elaborating guidelines and strategies for sustainable management”, coordinator for Lithuania.
  • 2012‒2016 State budget long-term research program “Sustainable forestry and global changes” direction “Research of ecological plasticity and adaptation under different environment conditions of families and clones of forest tree species suitable for short rotation forestry to facilitate development of specially aimed tree breeding”, 2nd task “Evaluation of adaptability of forest tree populations for increasing of forest general value”, leader.
  • 2012‒2013 Ministry of Environment project “Resistance of hybrid aspen to wind-throw depending on methods of propagation and growing and on genotype”, leader.
  • 2012‒2013 Ministry of Environment project “Biological-economical evaluation of containerized tree seedlings production and possibilities and prospects for the development in Lithuania”, researcher.
  • 2010‒2012 Lithuanian Plant Gene Bank project “Management of field collections of plants' (tree species') genetic resources, restoring, propagating and preparation of samples of plant genetic material for conservation in Plant Gene”, participant.
  • 2010‒2011 Lithuanian Research Council National Program project “Vulnerability of native tree species and populations, changes of natural distribution range and forecasts for climate changes”, member of research group.
  • 2010 Kėdainiai State Forest Company under the Ministry of Environment project “Research and preparation of recommendations on cloning of hybrid aspen by root cuttings and on establishing of plantation for vegetative propagation”, leader.
  • 2010 Ministry of Environment project “Genetic-breeding evaluation of resistance to diseases of common ash plus trees and populations based on progeny evaluation, selection of most resistant genotypes and preparation of recommendations for establishment of resistant seed orchards”, leader.
  • 2009‒2015 Project on establishing of “Phytotron infrastructure for Short Rotation Forestry Laboratory of the Forest Sector Research Studies and Development Centre of the Integrated Science, Education and Business Centre Valley Nemunas”, initiator and implementer.
  • 2009‒2012 State funded research direction “Studies on genetic response of broadleaf tree populations on changes of environment”, leader.
  • 2008‒2010 Ministry of Agriculture project “Application and dissemination of innovative technologies and scientific knowledge on hybrid aspen propagation for establishing of very productive plantations in field of short rotation forestry”, professional education and information activity of the Rural Development Programme for 2007‒2013, preparator of application and implementator.
  • 2008‒2009 Ministry of Environment project “Evaluation of regeneration of gene reserves and seed stands of broad leaved tree species, pedunculate oak, black alder and silver birch and preparation of recommendations”, leader.
  • 2008 Lithuanian State Science and Study Foundation project “DNA genotyping of Lithuanian populations of pedunculate oak and studies of population structure”, leader.
  • 2007 UAB “Euromediena” project “Technology applied scientific research on growing and in vitro micro-cloning technology of fast growing hybrid aspen intended for fulfilling the demands of wood industry”, member of research group.
  • 2007 UAB “Euromediena” feasibility study “Possibilities for application of growing and in vitro micro-cloning technologies for fast growing hybrid aspens intended for fulfilling the demands of wood industry”, member of research group.
  • 2006‒2011 EC FP6 Research Programme project “TRREEBREEDEX ‒ A working model network of tree improvement for competitive multifunctional and sustainable European forestry”, project leader in Lithuanian Institute of Forestry.
  • 2005‒2006 EC co-funded project “Improving of human resources in forest and agricultural biotechnology research”, leader of 2 lecturing modules, co-author and lector of 4 modules.
  • 2005‒2006 EC co-funded project “Improving of human resources in forest and agricultural biotechnology research”, co-author and lector of 5 modules.
  • 2005 Ministry of Environment project “Methods for genetic-breeding evaluation of experimental forest plantations”, leader.
  • 2005 Pakruojis State Forest Company under the Ministry of Environment project “Technology and recommendations for production of seedlings of aspen from seeds of local highly productive and healthy parent trees”, leader.
  • 2004‒2008 Long-term state research direction “Expression of genetic peculiarities of broad-leaved forest tree species under changing environment, evaluation of its adaptive and breeding potential”, leader.
  • 2004‒2008 SNS Nordic-Baltic project “NOLTFOX Northern European database of long-term forest experiments”, participant.
  • 2003‒2008 State Science Programme “Research of plant national genetic resources” project “Research and conservations of forest genetic resources under changing environment conditions”, member of research group.
  • 2003‒2007 State Science Programme “APLIKOM ‒ Complex impact of anthropogenic changes of climate and environment on vegetation of forest and agro-ecosystems”, member of research group.
  • 2003 Ministry of Environment project “Selection of silver birch genotypes based on results of progeny testing for establishing second generation seed orchards”, leader.
  • 2002 Ministry of Environment project “Delimitation of provenance regions for black alder, Norway maple, small-leaved lime, common aspen and European larch”, leader.
  • 2001‒2005 International EC FP5 Research Programme project “RAP ‒ Realising Ash’s Potential”, associated partner.
  • 2001 Ministry of Environment research project “Preparation of programme for conservation of genetic resources of deciduous forest tree species”, leader.
  • 2001 Ministry of Environment project “Seed zoning of Lithuanian forests: delimitation of provenance regions for silver birch and common ash (based on ES requirements)”, leader.
  • 2001 Ministry of Environment project “Preparation of a system for managing of the National Register and documenting of gene conservation units and forest reproductive material based on PC database”, leader.
  • 2001 Ministry of Environment project “Preparation of recommendations for establishing and managing of genetic resources conservation in situ units of broad leaved forest tree species (gene and seed reserves), via adopting European Forest genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN II) recommendations”, leader.
  • 1999‒2003 EC FP5 Research Programme project “CASCADE ‒ Securing gene conservation, adaptive, breeding potential and utilization of a model multi-purpose tree species Castanea sativa Mill. in a dynamic environment”, member of research team in 2001.
  • 1999‒2003 State funded research direction “Eco-genetic variation and gene conservation of broad-leaved forest tree species”, leader.
  • 1998‒2002 State Science Programme “Study and conservation of genetic resources of plants and agricultural animals farmed in Lithuania” (GENOFONDAS) project “Analysis of forest genetic resources, elaborating scientific background for their selection, conservation, usage and breeding”, member of research group.
  • 1998 PHARE project “Preparation of multi-country forestry programme”, member of research group.
  • 1998‒2000 Ministry of Environment project “Preparation, adaptations and implementation of European Forest Genetic Resources Programme” (EUFORGEN), leader.
  • 1999 Ministry of Environment project “Recommendations for selection of Scots pine and Norway spruce by forest nature regions for establishing of of second stage forest seed orchards”, leader.
  • 1997 Ministry of Environment programme “Forest genetics and tree breeding programme”, leader.
  • 1996‒2000 State budget research direction “Evaluation of adaptation and quality of Norway spruce populations, conservation and use of its genetic resources”, member of research group.
  • 1991‒1995 State budget research direction “Tree breeding of Scots pine by selecting most productive genotypes and populations for testing of varieties and use for establishing of forests”, member of research group.

Supervision of PhD studies

  • 1997‒2020 Supervisor and consultant of 7 PhD students:
  • 2016‒2020 Supervisor of PhD student G. Bajerkevičienė, topic of the PhD project “Juvenile-stage response and plasticity of different tree species, its populations and simulated forming forest communities under impact of simulated climate change and other environmental stressors”.
  • 2013‒2017 Supervisor of PhD student V. Gudynaitė, topic of the PhD project “Ecogenetic plasticity and adaptation of poplar hybrids and clones to Lithuanian natural conditions to be used in plantation forestry”.
  • 2012‒2016 Scientific consultant of PhD student D. Marčulynienė, topic of the PhD project “Features of populations of fungi Hymenoscyphus fraxineus of different origin and sensitivity of common ash to the pathogen”.
  • 2009‒2010 Supervisor of PhD student T. Balkus, topic of the PhD project “Possbilities for genetic adaptation and tree breeding for disease resistance of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.)”.
  • 2003‒2007 Supervisor of PhD student A. Baliuckienė, topic of the PhD project “Genetic variation of silver birch (Betula pendula) in the context of adaptation, gene coservation and tree”.
  • 1999‒2002 Supervisor of PhD student V. Baliuckas, topic of the PhD project “Life history traits and broadleaved tree genetics” (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Lithuanian Institute of Forestry).
  • 1997‒2000 Supervisor of PhD student V. Kundrotas, topic of the PhD project “Lietuvos juodalksnio (Alnus glutinosa) populiacijų genetinės ekologinės ypatybės ir selekcija”.

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS (click the link here)