Phenotypic and genomic patterns of climate adaptation in western larch

Shifting climates are disrupting historical patterns of local adaptation in tree populations, introducing a pressing need to understand the risks posed by climate change and mitigation strategies such as assisted gene flow. Climate niche modeling projects that areas of future suitable climate for western larch will stretch north of its contemporary distribution, making it a desirable candidate for assisted migration trials. I am studying local adaptation to climate in western larch populations across its current natural range by combining phenotypic data on traits related to phenology, cold and drought tolerance from natural and selectively-bred populations in common garden experiments with genomic data (exome capture) from a long-term provenance trial. We will use this data to test associations between phenotypic and genomic variation among populations with climate and to assess vulnerabilities related to climate change and inform assisted migration strategies as a part of the CoAdapTree project.

Funding: Genome Canada and Genome BC through the CoAdapTree project, BC Forest Genetics Council, UBC International Doctoral Fellowship

Principal participants:Roskilly | Aitken ]