This research includes genetic and phenotypic analysis and spatial mapping of patterns of tree genetic diversity. It also includes discovering how the availability of tree genetic diversity conditions the wellbeing of rural people in forest and farm landscapes. Research seeks to reexamine the current mainstream theory governing TGR conservation practice, such as the contested assumption that the cultivation of trees for timber and commodities is sufficient to safeguard the related genetic resources.
FTA seeks to determine the conditions when such current conventional wisdom holds and when it does not, based on particular production systems, landscapes and tree biologies.
FTA also performs economic analyses to determine the option value provided by TGR for the future production of key tree products and services, to more adequately assess the value of land use for safeguarding of wild relatives of tree crops.
In addition, combining varied information sources on the location and value of, and threats to, TGR allows FTA to develop and out-scale spatially explicit safeguarding tools, such as online maps that indicate conservation priorities. Safeguarding research involves women in setting priorities based on their particular knowledge and future needs.