Keep Pace: Selection of trees keeping pace with fast environmental changes, a science based approach for sustainable XXI century Oak forests
Recent global climate change is partially responsible for the decline of Cork and Holm Oak woodlands in southwestern Europe. Conservation of these woodlands strongly relies on trees ability to keep pace with fast environmental change. In this project, the main hypothesis is that the change in the trees adaptive traits might be detected by genotyping naturally regenerated young trees, and compare them with local old trees as well as by comparing across steep climatic gradients. The traced genomic signature of trees local adaptation should unraveled how and where these oaks are keeping pace with fast environmental change. Results on the spatial and temporal projections of the climatic/environmental factors in association with genetic variation will allow modelling future distribution of resilient types of genotypes, an important instrument for Assisted Gene Flow, and consequently for the future of cork production and the associated socioeconomic environment.
Project reference: PTDC/ASP-SIL/29263/2017