Mediterranean pines are large-sized, long living, iteroparous species. During their long live, they have to endure changing biotic and abiotic environments that favor plastic strategies. The rhythm of change determined by global change imposes serious doubts regarding the viability of individual plasticity as a strategy of adaptation to environmental change. Migration and genetic adaptation are the alternative responses to cope with the new environmental pressures. Nevertheless, life history theory predicts compromises between the different vital functions that might impose limitation in a context of new and multiple biotical and abiotical stresses. In addition, in long living species, selective forces may change significantly from year to year and from one recruitment event to the next. In this context arises this project, whose ultimate aim is to improve our understanding of the capacity of our pinewoods to adapt to global change and to design strategies of management of forest genetic recourses that will ensure the persistence of pine forests. The project proposes new experimental approaches to study the co(variation) and plasticity of life history traits, extends the concept of integrated phenotype to new functional characters, associated with ecosystem services and further deepens in the direct repercussions of the possible adaptive syndromes on the recruitment and responses to selection that will influence the next generation. We include species with different ecological niches and contrasted life histories. Giving the complexity of the evaluated characters, we will use innovative technologies applied to forest genetics: georadar to study the architecture of roots, LIDAR techniques as an alternative to in situ measurements of growth and aerial architecture. Finally, special emphasis will be placed on dissemination of the results concerning the forest genetic resources management, especially the selection of base material and transfer of forest reproductive material.
Ecophysiological Approaches and Response to Climate in Mediterranean Pines: Relevance for Future Management of Their Genetic Resources
National Plan (MINECO, Spain)