Linking genetic variability with ecological responses to environmental changes:
forest trees as model systems (LinkTree)

Consortium of seven partners from Spain (CIFOR-INIA & CIDE-CSIC), Italy (CNR-Firenze), France (INRA-BIOGECO & INRA-URFM), Germany (Philipps-University of Marburg) and Sweden (Uppsala University), with 35 researchers and a total project cost of 1,956,790 euros.

Impacts of global change on European forests are expected to be acute, resulting in notable changes in species range, ecosystem functioning and in the interactions among species. Because forest trees are long-lived and sessile, they can either disappear, disperse to other places or adapt in situ to the ongoing climatic change over a reduced number of generations. To adapt, trees appear to rely more on standing genetic variation and recombination than on new mutations. Both under- and over-estimation of the potential for rapid adaptation could lead to unnecessary if not damageable recommendations for management, for example the use of non-native provenances or species for restoration plantations, or the adoption of no mitigating measures, leading locally to massive tree population decline with no possibilities of regeneration.

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LinkTree: Linking genetic variability with ecological responses to environmental changes: forest trees as model systems
Project Leader: Santiago C. González-Martínez (CIFOR-INIA, Spain)
Web Manager: Gabriele Bucci (IGV-FI/CNR, Italy)