"There are widespread concerns that trees, due to their long life-span, are not able to cope with the rapid ongoing climate change. While many studies have so far investigated potential impacts of climate change on forests, much less attention has been given to the potential evolutionary responses of tree populations. However there is a large body of evidence stemming from experimental evolutionary genetics showing that adaptive differentiation has extensively occurred during past environmental changes. This project challenges these views and explores the pace at which evolutionary change has taken place during past gradual and under current rapid environmental change. It builds on the reconstruction of evolutionary trajectories during the Holocene and Anthropocene to infer evolutionary rates, taking temperate oaks as a case study. The project assembles insights and contributions from paleobotany, ecology, ecophysiology, genetics, genomics and evolution in a generic framework for the assessment and prediction of rates of evolution at different hierarchical levels (genome to phenome). Beyond the assessments of past and current evolutionary change, the project provides an integrative simulation framework that will allow the monitoring and prediction of adaptive responses of trees under various evolutionary scenarios."
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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