Session B: Forest genetic resources (FGR) and adaptation to climate change

Monday 20 June, 14.00-17.30

Chairs: Stephen Cavers (UKCEH, UK), Juliette Archambeau (INRAE, France)
Keynote: Tongli Wang (University of British Columbia; Canada)

Session structure:
14.00-14.05 Chairs’ introduction
14.05-15.25 Regular talks
15.25-15.45 Break
15.45-16.10 Regular talks
16.10-16.50 Flash talks
16.50-17.30 Keynote

Please note this video provides audio only for the first 2 hours

Session description:

Climate change is already impacting forests through gradual climatic shifts and more frequent extreme climatic events, triggering changes in biotic (e.g. insects, diseases) and abiotic (e.g. floods, fires) disturbance. Natural populations of forest trees can respond to these changes by migrating to new sites or persisting in their current locations and relying on their dispersal ability, phenotypic plasticity and ultimately genetic adaptation, the only mechanism likely to ensure long-term persistence. In production forests, the use of the genetic variation within species (forest genetic resources, FGR) to adapt to new conditions may play a fundamental role in providing resilience and maintaining wood and non-wood product provision. Assessing the vulnerability of forests to climate change involves understanding the mechanisms that underlie responses to change and predicting how populations will respond over time. Such predictions will have to incorporate the uncertainty associated with the timing and magnitude of climate change, the interaction with other threats (e.g. land-use change) and the inherent stochasticity of population responses (e.g. stochastic demographic or evolutionary processes). In this session, we welcome population and quantitative genetic and modelling studies related to past and future forest tree adaptation to climate change and how to make use of FGR and their evolutionary potential to maintain forests (managed or unmanaged) in the face of the changes ahead.

Keynote: Tongli Wang (University of British Columbia; Canada)

Using forest genetic resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Climate change is causing a mismatch between the climate that trees have adapted to in the past and the climate that the trees will face in the future. Natural migration and evolution may take too long to achieve new local adaptation. Using the available genetic resources created by nature and tree improvement programs will probably be the most effective way to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Nature has created a large number of tree species for different climate conditions and among-population variation along climate gradients within species for local adaptation. Improved genetic materials have been produced through breeding for various objectives, including fast growth and resistance to pests, diseases, and harsh environments. However, challenges remain in making effective use of these genetic resources to fight against climate change. My presentation will address some issues in the following aspects: 1) using climate niche models to assess the impact of climate change and to assist species in matching their suitable climate; 2) using transfer and response functions to understand the genetic and physiological responses of populations to climate change; and 3) the use of genomic information for delineation of seed and breeding zones.  

Regular talks:

Each presentation is made of a 20 minutes talk with 4 minutes for questions

Time schedulePresenting authorPresentation titleKeywords
14.05 – 14.30Zhi-Qhiang Chen (Umeå Plant Science Centre)Effects of future climate change on Norway spruce adaptation and growth across Europe (pdf)Response function, tree growth, local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity
14.30 – 14.55Katharina Liepe (Thuenen Institute of Forest Genetics)High phenotypic plasticity, but low signals of local adaptation in a large-scale provenance trial of Norway spruce (pdf)Climate change, Picea abies, height growth, species distribution model, universal response function
14.55 – 15.20Octávio S. Paulo (cE3c)Predict climate response and adaptation in Cork Oak using gradient forest (pdf)Climate change, Gradient Forest, landscape genomics, local adaptation, Quercus suber L
15.45 – 16.10Arne Steffenrem (NIBIO)Estimation of phenotypic plasticity in Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Kars.) as the maternal reproductive environment alters adaptive performance (pdf)Phenotypic plasticity, adaptation, phenology, picea abies

Flash talks:

Presentations last for 5 minutes and 15 minutes are allocated at the end for questions

Time schedulePresenting authorPresentation titleKeywords
16.15 – 16.20Marta Callejas-Díaz (INIA-CSIC)Response to selection in an aerial conifer seed bank (pdf)Aerial seed bank, Heritability, Maternal effects, Pinus pinaster, Selection
16.20 – 16.25Laura Guillardin (University of Oxford)The genetics behind the Continuous Cover Forestry approach – do UK plantations hold enough genetic diversity to face environmental changes? (pdf)Climate Change, Genetic diversity, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP), Forest management, Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF)
16.25 – 16.30Āris Jansons (Silava)Heritable weather-growth relationships: case study of Scots pine provenances (pdf)Local adaptation, climate-smart forestry, climate sensitivity
16.30 – 16.35Annika Perry (CEH)Why we should consider phenology as well as growth traits when developing predictive models in forest trees (pdf)Marker-trait association, predictive model, quantitative trait, Scots pine, SNP array