IUFRO Spotlights


Congress Spotlight #68 - Forest Trees and the Climate Change Challenge: Survival May Mean Diving into the Gene Pool

Because of climate change, forest tree species have three options. They can adapt, migrate, or extirpate. Within each species and population, genetic variation is the cornerstone for its survival, and also for its potential to adapt to new conditions.

"A population or species with low levels of genetic variation is expected to be less adaptable to new threats due to climate change, resulting in few individuals surviving extreme environmental episodes (i.e. extreme drought, temperature increases)," said Dr. Paraskevi Alizoti, Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO Working Party 2.02.13 – Breeding and genetic resources of Mediterranean conifers. She presents a session at the IUFRO 2019 World Congress entitled "Trees on the move: range shifts, potential for genetic adaptation and assisted migration".

The session aims to focus on the significance of marginal populations and their potential genetic differentiation, as a result of their growth in marginal niches and of their potential isolation from other populations of the same species. It will examine their unique gene pools, and the risks they face due to climate change, and explore the progress and promise of forest genetics research for assessing genetic variations in marginal populations, their gene pool changes over time and their extirpation possibility.

Further reading:


congress-spotlight68-diving-into-the-gene-pool.pdf340 Ki