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Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations (2019)

Chapter: Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25221.
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Page 198
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25221.
×
Page 199
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25221.
×
Page 200
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25221.
×
Page 201
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25221.
×
Page 202

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Appendix D 198 Chronological Summary of Studies Empirically Examining Public and Other Stakeholder Responses to the Use of Biotechnology in Trees and Forests Citation Main Focus Study Location Methods Main Findings Friedman and Foster Stakeholder concerns about genetic diversity United States Informal qualitative interviews Concerns about risks of changes in the genetics of future trees include (1997) and tree improvement on public land with U.S. Forest Service reduction of genetic diversity, loss of adaptation, and changes in other employees ecosystem components from the directed selection of trees Neumann et al. (2007) Differences between expert and public Canada Qualitative interviews with key Framing identity, trust, and economic competition are important for perceptions of plantation forestry, informants (n = 31) an overall assessment of community perceptions of hybrid poplar specifically hybrid poplar plantations plantations Strauss et al. (2009) Degree that the knowledgeable scientific United States Online and follow-up telephone A large majority (78%) of respondents agreed with the statement that community believes regulatory requirements and Canada surveys of scientists in “regulatory requirements pose a substantial obstacle to field research present a significant impediment to field university, government, and on genetically engineered trees.” When the same statement was research and commercial development of the private sector (n = 90) provided, but with respect to “commercial development and breeding genetically modified trees, and why with genetically engineered trees,” the majority grew stronger with 81% agreeing. In addition, 72% believed “containment requirements have an adverse impact on the continued research and commercial development” of these trees and 93% believed “a system that provided different containment requirements during research for different kinds of genes” would significantly reduce regulatory burdens. Primary constraints to broader application of genetically engineered trees were “regulatory costs and uncertainties at the commercial release level” (66%), “legal and liability risks from unintended release” (60%), and “high costs of field research” with these trees (59%) Connor and Siegrist Factors influencing perceptions of several Switzerland Mail survey of a random sample Medical applications of gene technology were more acceptable and (2010) different gene technologies, including genetic of German speaking residents of perceived to have more benefits and less risk than nonmedical modification of trees to grow faster to Switzerland (n = 830) applications such modification of trees to produce more paper / wood. produce more paper/wood Benefits, risks, and trust predicted acceptance Prepublication Copy Tsourgiannis et al. Consumer attitudes and purchasing behavior Greece Onsite survey in supermarkets Main factors affecting consumer purchasing behavior towards those (2013) toward wood products that could be derived and malls (n = 418), although products are promotion/marketing issues (e.g., origin, attractiveness), from transgenic plantations, their personal analyses were conducted only on product features (e.g., quality, brand name), and labelling. Perceived characteristics, and their attitude toward consumers who declared they benefits of establishing forest transgenic plantations include increased establishing these plantations would be willing to buy wood job flexibility, reduced production cost, increases in farmer income, products from genetically and reduction of production losses. Environmental issues that may modified forest trees (n = 231) arise from adoption of transgenic forest plantations were not as important as these economic issues to the consumers

Hajjar et al. (2014) Acceptance of a range of reforestation Western Canada Online surveys of residents The strategy “plant seedlings grown from seeds that are genetically Prepublication Copy strategies (some revolving around (n = 1544) and leaders of engineered (GMOs) to grow well in the climate conditions expected biotechnology) that could be used for helping forestry communities (n = 37) to occur in the near future” was less acceptable than breeding and western Canada’s forests adapt to future in Alberta and British Columbia assisted migration strategies, but was still acceptable among climate change approximately 50% of the public and 30% of forestry leaders, and was more acceptable than doing nothing. Acceptance changed for many respondents after being told the strategy would create positive benefits or negative risks and other outcomes (e.g., community socioeconomics, forest aesthetics, outbreaks of pests, diseases, and fire) Hajjar and Kozak Predictors of acceptance of several Western Canada Online survey of residents Approximately 50% of the public accepted the strategy “plant (2015) reforestation strategies (some focused on (n = 1544) in Alberta and seedlings grown from seeds that are genetically engineered (GMOs) biotechnology) that could be used for helping British Columbia to grow well in the climate conditions expected to occur in the near western Canada’s forests adapt to climate future” and this was influenced by skepticism, trust in decision change makers, risks/threats from technology, risks and ethics associated with manipulating nature, age, and being male Nonić et al. (2015) Impact of education level and background Serbia Onsite survey of students at two Over 70% knew what a genetically modified tree was, but knowledge and perceptions of risks and different universities (n = 400) commercial application and final products of these trees were less benefits on attitudes toward acceptance of the known. Students with more years of education were more likely to commercial use of genetically modified trees know about these trees and their uses. Genetic modifications aimed at and their final products enhancing the resistance of trees to diseases was the most acceptable. Perceived benefits of these trees included less need for pesticides and greater tree productivity. Perceived risks included loss of biodiversity, need for more broad spectrum herbicides, and vulnerability to viral diseases. The majority of respondents agreed with commercial planting of transgenic forest crops, were willing to purchase products from these trees, and thought labeling of these products should be required Tsourgiannis et al. Attitudes and potential purchasing behavior Greece Onsite survey in supermarkets Four groups of consumers showing similar potential purchasing (2015) of Greek consumers toward products derived and malls (n = 418) behavior toward products from transgenic forest trees were from transgenic forest tree plantations. identified—those interested in: (a) the quality of products (12%), (b) Demographic characteristics and responses lower prices (30%), (c) curiosity and labeling issues (35%), and (d) toward the establishment of these plantations health safety issues and environmental impacts (23%). Perceived is also investigated benefits of establishing transgenic forest plantations included more job opportunities, increased farmer income, improved production of biomass, and reduced production cost and output losses. Risks included negative impacts on wild native species, the biodiversity of ecosystems, and human health. There were some demographic differences, as the group interested in the quality of products was older, less educated, and did not have children, whereas the other groups were younger, more educated, and had children (Continued) 199

Continued 200 Citation Main Focus Study Location Methods Main Findings Kazana et al. (2015, Young people’s knowledge about transgenic 15 European and Onsite survey of university More than 60% of students knew the meaning of forest transgenic 2016) forest trees, concerns regarding cultivation of non-European students in each country trees. However, most did not know whether they were grown these trees, and attitudes toward the use of countries (n = 1868) commercially. The majority of respondents approved of growing transgenic forest trees in plantations (Argentina, transgenic trees in plantations (56–93%), using labels to indicate final Australia, Israel) products originated from genetically modified trees (77–98%), and make labels mandatory (73–99%). Potential benefits of transgenic tree plantations that were rated as important in at least half of the countries were use of fewer chemicals (insecticides, pesticides, herbicides) and less energy, harvesting a smaller number of trees for consumption, restoring soils, and increasing tree productivity. The largest risks were loss of biodiversity due to possible gene flow between transgenic plantations and wild forests, increased herbicide use and resistance, and vulnerability to other tree diseases. More than half of respondents, however, were unable to specify benefits and risks, indicating low levels of specific knowledge Fuller et al. (2016) Acceptance of various tree health United Kingdom Online survey from a panel of The majority of respondents (74%) were “concerned” or “very management methods (including “biological residents (n = 2208) concerned” about the threat of pests and diseases to trees. In total, control,” and how opinions about woodland 66% of respondents considered “biological control” to be acceptable functions, concern and awareness of pests for managing tree pests and diseases. Only “felling only affected and diseases, and demographics influence trees” was more acceptable. Acceptance increased when the acceptance of these methods importance of environmental functions were high Needham et al. (2016) Measure various cognitions (e.g., United States Mail surveys of US residents Attitudes showed less acceptance for genetic modification compared attitudes, norms, behavioral intentions, (n = 278) and interest groups to tree breeding and traditional forest management, but genetic risk, benefits) in response to several possible (e.g., scientists, companies, modification was more acceptable for addressing a pathogen such as biotechnological (e.g., genetic modification) agencies, non-governmental chestnut blight (68%) than for climate change (53%) or to increase and non-biotechnological (e.g., conventional organizations; n = 195), onsite forest growth/productivity (55%). Changing genes in American breeding) interventions for addressing forest survey of students in seven chestnut trees (69%) and adding genes from bread wheat (i.e., health threats such as chestnut blight and universities (n = 604), and OxO gene; 61%) were more acceptable than breeding with non-native climate change. Examine the effect of online survey of Qualtrics species such as Asian chestnuts (60%) and adding genes from scientific information and messaging on panel members (n = 528) distantly related organisms (53%). Value orientations, factual these cognitions knowledge, trust, gender, perceived risks and benefits toward the environment, and residential proximity to forests all influenced support of genetic modification for addressing chestnut blight. This support, however, is sensitive to informational messages and vulnerable to persuasion campaigns, as it dropped dramatically (from 75–83% down to 40–44%) as soon as messages provided any negative/anti arguments (i.e., pejorative language) about this topic Prepublication Copy Nilausen et al. (2016) Perceived acceptability of implementing Canada Qualitative interviews and The video improved knowledge about MAS. Government (78%) and marker-assisted section (MAS; flags desired quantitative pre and post industry (100%) held positive attitudes toward MAS, supporting its traits on the genome to reduce the breeding video questionnaires (to ensure use and continued research. Environmental NGOs (50%) and First cycle and more accurately and efficiently knowledge) to small sample Nations (17%) attitudes were far less positive. Government and selecting for improved qualities) (n = 25) of four groups industry were more likely to explain the difference between genetic (government, industry, modification and MAS, and emphasize the improved forest resiliency environmental NGOs and industry-specific trails. Environmental NGOs were concerned about risks such as a tree’s ability to adapt to climate change and its

[non-governmental reduced genetic diversity, but thought benefits may include ability to Prepublication Copy organizations], First Nations) reduce pressure on wild forests. First Nations were concerned about how their community and/or elders would respond, but mentioned benefits such as greater carbon sequestration capacity Tsourgiannis et al. Consumer attitudes and purchasing behavior Greece Onsite survey in supermarkets Respondents were segmented according to their buying behavior for (2016) toward wood products that could be derived and malls (n = 418) three forest product categories of transgenic origin: (a) paper from transgenic plantations, their personal products, (b) wood products, and (c) woody biomass energy products. characteristics, and their attitude toward Marketing issues (e.g., origin, attractiveness) and product features establishing these plantations (e.g., quality, brand name) influenced buying behavior for all three groups. Health and safety issues only influenced purchasers of woody biomass energy products. Labeling and certification were important for wood products and woody biomass energy products. Environmental impacts were important for those purchasing paper products. Jepson and Arakelyan Public acceptance of various potential United Kingdom Onsite survey of 1,152 attendees Respondents care about the issue, want an active response (i.e., doing (2017a) strategies to deal with ash dieback and of three events attracting publics nothing was least acceptable), and prefer traditional or accelerated develop disease tolerant ash trees, ranging interested in the countryside: breeding solutions over genetic modification. Creating a disease from traditional tree breeding to genetic landowners and land managers, tolerant ash tree using trans-genetics was the least acceptable option; modification. Predictors of this acceptance naturalists, and gardeners more respondents supported a cisgenics option and this increased to were also measured (e.g., demographics, 54% when informed of the time scale (<10 years for achieving concern, support of genetically modified outcome). In total, 38% approved of genetically modified ash trees foods) being planted in natural woodlands, and 60% supported them in forestry plantations. Type of event attended, views on ash dieback, public say on decision making, education, age (younger more supportive), and attitude to genetically modified food all had significant effects on these attitudes to genetically modified ash trees Jepson and Arakelyan Public preferences for seven potential options United Kingdom Online survey using the YouGov Breeding native tolerant ash, planting different species, and (2017b) for dealing with ash dieback, ranging from list (n = 2,036) and weighted to accelerated breeding were most preferred. Using genetically modified traditional tree breeding to genetic be representative of adult techniques were preferred by 27% of respondents, with greater modification, with approximate timescales residents in the United Kingdom support for this in urban areas and plantations. No action and planting given for the implementation of each option. and breeding non-native ash were least preferred. Younger, more Predictors were also measured (e.g., educated, and male respondents were more supportive of genetically demographics, concern, support of modified techniques. The largest percentage of respondents (43%) genetically modified foods) saw no difference between genetic modification of trees versus food, but 20% said modification of trees is less acceptable because it involves tampering with nature. Knowledge about plant science, however, was low Peterson St-Laurent Predictors of acceptance of several Western Canada Online survey of residents Only 25% of the public supported the strategy “plant seedlings from et al. (2018) reforestation strategies (one that focused on (n = 1,923) in British Columbia seeds that are genetically modified to be better adapted to anticipated biotechnology) that could be used for helping future climatic conditions” and only 16% were in favor of this western Canada’s forests adapt to climate intervention from an ethical standpoint. Support was influenced by change anthropocentric value orientations, knowledge of forestry, preferred economic outcomes, trust in decision makers, age, being male, and employment in the forest industry. 201

Appendix D REFERENCES Connor, M., and M. Siegrist. 2010. Factors influencing people’s acceptance of gene technology: The role of knowledge, health expectations, naturalness, and social trust. Science Communication 32(4):514-538. Friedman, S.T., and G.S. Foster. 1997. Forest genetics on federal lands in the United States: Public concerns and policy responses. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 27(3):401–408. Fuller, L., M. Marzano, A. Peace, and C.P. Quine. 2016. Public acceptance of tree health management: Results of a national survey in the UK. Environmental Science and Policy 59(1):18–25. Hajjar, R., and R.A. Kozak. 2015. Exploring public perceptions of forest adaptation strategies in Western Canada: Implications for policymakers. Forest Policy and Economics 61:59–69. Hajjar, R., E. McGuigan, M. Moshofsky, and R.A. Kozak. 2014. Opinions on strategies for forest adaptation to future climate conditions in western Canada: Surveys of the general public and leaders of forest-dependent communities. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44(12):1525–1533. Jepson, P.R., and I. Arakelyan. 2017a. Developing publicly acceptable tree health policy: Public perceptions of tree- breeding solutions to ash dieback among interested publics in the UK. Forest Policy and Economics 80:167–177. Jepson, P., and I. Arakelyan. 2017b. Exploring public perceptions of solutions to tree diseases in the UK: Implications for policy-makers. Environmental Science and Policy 76:70–77. Kazana, V., L. Tsourgiannis, V. Iakovoglou, C. Stamatiou, A. Alexandrov, S. Araújo, S. Bogdan, G. Božič, R. Brus, G. Bossinger, A. Boutsimea, N. Celepirović, H. Cvrčková, M. Fladung, M. Ivanković, A. Kazaklis, P. Koutsona, Z. Luthar, P. Máchová, J. Malá, K. Mara, M. Mataruga, J. Moravcikova, D. Paffetti, J. Paiva, D. Raptis, C. Sanchez, S. Sharry, T. Salaj, M. Šijačić-Nikolić, N. Tel-Zur, I. Tsvetkov, C. Vettori, and N. Vidal. 2015. Public attitudes towards the use of transgenic forest trees: A cross-country pilot survey. iForest 9:344–353. Kazana, V., L. Tsourgiannis, V. Iakovoglou, C. Stamatiou, A. Alexandrov, S. Araújo, S. Bogdan, G. Božič, R. Brus, G. Bossinger, A. Boutsimea, N. Celepirović, H. Cvrčková, M. Fladung, M. Ivanković, A. Kazaklis, P. Koutsona, Z. Luthar, P. Máchová, J. Malá, K. Mara, M. Mataruga, J. Moravcikova, D. Paffetti, J. Paiva, D. Raptis, C. Sanchez, S. Sharry, T. Salaj, M. Šijačić-Nikolić, N. Tel-Zur, I. Tsvetkov, C. Vettori, and N. Vidal. 2016. Public knowledge and perceptions of safety issues towards the use of genetically modified forest trees: A cross-country pilot survey. Pp. 223-244 in Biosafety of Forest Transgenic Trees: Improving the Scientific Basis for Safe Tree Development and Implementation of EU Policy Directives, C. Vettori, F. Gallardo, H. Häggman, V. Kazana, F. Migliacci, G. Pilate, and M. Fladung, eds. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Needham, M., G. Howe, and J. Petit. 2016. Forest Health Biotechnologies: What Are the Drivers of Public Acceptance? Interim report and preliminary findings for the Forest Health Initiative and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. Available at https://www.foresthealthinitiative. Neumann, P.D., N.T. Krogman, and B.R. Thomas. 2007. Public perceptions of hybrid poplar plantations: Trees as an alternative crop. International Journal of Biotechnology 9(5):468–483. Nilausen, C., N. Gélinas, and G. Bull. 2016. Perceived acceptability of implementing marker-assisted selection in the forests of British Columbia. Forests 7(11):286. Nonić, M., U. Radojević, J. Milovanović, M. Perović, and M. Šijačić-Nikolić. 2015. Comparative analysis of students’ attitudes toward implementation of genetically modified trees in Serbia. iForest 8:714–718. Peterson St-Laurent, G., S. Hagerman, and R. Kozak. 2018. What risks matter? Public views about assisted migration and other climate-adaptive reforestation strategies. Climatic Change 151(3–4):573–587. Strauss, S.H., M. Schmitt, and R. Sedjo. 2009. Forest scientist views of regulatory obstacles to research and develop- ment of transgenic forest biotechnology. Journal of Forestry 107(7):350–357. Tsourgiannis, L., V. Kazana, A. Karasavvoglou, M. Nikolaidis, G. Florou, and P. Polychronidou. 2013. Exploring consumers’ attitudes towards wood products that could be derived from transgenic plantations in Greece. Procedia Technology 8:554–560. Tsourgiannis, L., V. Kazana, and V. Iakovoglou. 2015. Exploring the potential behavior of consumers towards transgenic forest products: The Greek experience. iForest 8:707–713. Tsourgiannis, L., V. Kazana, and V. Iakovoglou. 2016. A comparative analysis of consumers’ potential purchasing behaviour towards transgenic-derived forest products: The Greek case. Pp. 245–260 in Biosafety of Forest Transgenic Trees: Improving the Scientific Basis for Safe Tree Development and Implementation of EU Policy Directives, C. Vettori, F. Gallardo, H. Häggman, V. Kazana, F. Migliacci, G. Pilate, and M. Fladung, eds. Dor- drecht, Netherlands: Springer. 202 Prepublication Copy 

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The American chestnut, whitebark pine, and several species of ash in the eastern United States are just a few of the North American tree species that have been functionally lost or are in jeopardy of being lost due to outbreaks of pathogens and insect pests. New pressures in this century are putting even more trees at risk. Expanded human mobility and global trade are providing pathways for the introduction of nonnative pests for which native tree species may lack resistance. At the same time, climate change is extending the geographic range of both native and nonnative pest species.

Biotechnology has the potential to help mitigate threats to North American forests from insects and pathogens through the introduction of pest-resistant traits to forest trees. However, challenges remain: the genetic mechanisms that underlie trees’ resistance to pests are poorly understood; the complexity of tree genomes makes incorporating genetic changes a slow and difficult task; and there is a lack of information on the effects of releasing new genotypes into the environment.

Forest Health and Biotechnology examines the potential use of biotechnology for mitigating threats to forest tree health and identifies the ecological, economic, and social implications of deploying biotechnology in forests. This report also develops a research agenda to address knowledge gaps about the application of the technology.

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