CORDIS - EU research results

Unveiling convergent adaptation in Mediterranean pines to inform a new tool for the management of forest genomic resources


The impact of climate change on forest species is predicted to be dramatic due to the insurgence of adaptive lags between the current genetic make-up of populations and the newly established climatic conditions. The consequent disruption of local adaptation is of concern as plants may not be able to readapt or migrate fast enough, which could inflate genetic erosion, eradication and extinction. Ongoing conservation efforts are currently devoted to the characterization of forest genetic resources, with the aim of maximising adaptive potentials and increasing the chance for forests to tackle future conditions. Here, MedForAct will focus on three iconic pine species native to the Mediterranean basin (Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster and P. pinea) to identify a core set of genes and gene networks that may have fostered their convergent adaptation in the face of compelling ecological challenges and despite million years of independent evolution. To tackle this challenge, the project will use a newly produced genomic dataset composed of c. 800 individuals genotyped at c. 100K SNPs representing both neutral and adaptive variation. Detecting signatures of convergent adaptation could highlight the adaptive potential of these species, with implications for the development of genomic-informed management strategies and setting conservation priorities based on predicted climate change scenarios. Following this, MedForAct envisages using the detected top-ranked candidates to develop a new software for forest management, with the aim of providing forest managers with a practical means of implementing targeted reforestation approaches by monitoring the expected adaptive lag of populations using genomics and future climatic predictions.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 750,08
00185 Roma

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Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data