Presentation Title

Investigating population differentiation in red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) due to climate change.

Project Collaborators

Stephen R Keller, Thibaut Capblancq, Helena V Munson.

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Local adaptation of quantitative traits such as growth and phenology are commonly observed in forest trees whose ranges span broad environmental gradients of climate. However, few studies have looked at whether local adaptation to climate is affected by population connectivity within the range. Red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) is an important tree species, both economically and ecologically, in eastern North America that is adapted to cool, moist environs. This species has a highly fragmented distribution, reflecting its historical northward expansion. Currently, red spruce occurs in three distinct core, margin, and edge regions and displays clear genetic structure across its current distribution. As such, the fragmented distribution and sensitivity to warming temperatures can collectively hinder future climate adaptation in red spruce. In the proposed study, we will collect data for ecologically important traits including bud set, over-winter survival, bud flush, water-use efficiency (WUE), percent N, C:N ratio, height increment, and cold tolerance on red spruce seedlings grown in a common garden. Seeds were collected from 65 sites located across the three regions of the range. We will estimate genetic differentiation for molecular (Fst) and quantitative trait variation (Qst) to test for spatial heterogeneity in selection among populations in these different regions. Additionally, genetic and environmental variance will be estimated with random effects ANOVAs. Such an investigation will help identify genetic and phenotypic differentiation in red spruce due to historical climate change and lend insight to the influence of local adaptation and gene flow acting on these populations.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Stephen R Keller

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Plant Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Investigating population differentiation in red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) due to climate change.

Local adaptation of quantitative traits such as growth and phenology are commonly observed in forest trees whose ranges span broad environmental gradients of climate. However, few studies have looked at whether local adaptation to climate is affected by population connectivity within the range. Red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) is an important tree species, both economically and ecologically, in eastern North America that is adapted to cool, moist environs. This species has a highly fragmented distribution, reflecting its historical northward expansion. Currently, red spruce occurs in three distinct core, margin, and edge regions and displays clear genetic structure across its current distribution. As such, the fragmented distribution and sensitivity to warming temperatures can collectively hinder future climate adaptation in red spruce. In the proposed study, we will collect data for ecologically important traits including bud set, over-winter survival, bud flush, water-use efficiency (WUE), percent N, C:N ratio, height increment, and cold tolerance on red spruce seedlings grown in a common garden. Seeds were collected from 65 sites located across the three regions of the range. We will estimate genetic differentiation for molecular (Fst) and quantitative trait variation (Qst) to test for spatial heterogeneity in selection among populations in these different regions. Additionally, genetic and environmental variance will be estimated with random effects ANOVAs. Such an investigation will help identify genetic and phenotypic differentiation in red spruce due to historical climate change and lend insight to the influence of local adaptation and gene flow acting on these populations.