Using forest genetic resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Watch the keynote presentation on forest genetic resources given by Dr Tongli Wang (Associate professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada) on 20 June 2022.

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.

Dr Wang looks at:

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.  

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