We developed an individual-based demo-genetic forest model, LUBERON2, to investigate the combined effects of genetic diversity, management scenarios and disturbance regimes on stand performance and evolution.
In many forests, fisheries and other semi-natural ecosystems, human interventions interfere with natural evolutionary processes. Previous studies provided evidence of direct or indirect anthropogenic selection in such systems. Here, we simulated random tree thinning scenarios, i.e. without anthropogenic selection.
We show that the evolutionary rates predicted by the model fit in the range of observed values in wild plant and animal populations. The primary impact of random tree thinning is to partially substitute anthropogenic selection for natural selection: (i) by changing stand structure throughout the forestry cycle, the forester reduces the intensity of natural density-dependent selection processes; (ii) the composition of the reproducing population results from forester’s choice and not only from natural selection. Thus, even presumed “neutral” population management still has non-neutral evolutionary consequences.
Godineau, C., Fririon, V., Beudez, N., de Coligny, F., Courbet, F., Ligot, G., Oddou-Muratorio, S., Sanchez, L., Lefèvre, F. (2023). A demo-genetic model shows how silviculture reduces natural density-dependent selection in tree populations. Evolutionary Applications, https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13606
The model can be used for research, training and education or demonstration with a user-friendly graphical mode. More information at: https://capsis.cirad.fr/capsis/help_en/luberon2