Oecologia, 2013-12-01, Vol.173 (4), p.1587-1600
Environment and genetics combine to influence tree growth and should therefore be jointly considered when evaluating forest responses in a warming climate. Here, we combine dendroclimatology and population genetic approaches with the aim of attributing climatic influences on growth of European larch (Larix decidua) and Norway spruce (Picea abies). Increment cores and genomic DNA samples were collected from populations along a ~900-m elevational transect where the air temperature gradient encompasses a ~4 °C temperature difference. We found that low genetic differentiation among populations indicates gene flow is high, suggesting that migration rate is high enough to counteract the selective pressures of local environmental variation. We observed lower growth rates towards higher elevations and a transition from negative to positive correlations with growing season temperature upward along the elevational transect. With increasing elevation there was also a clear increase in the explained variance of growth due to summer temperatures. Comparisons between climate sensitivity patterns observed along this elevational transect with those from Larix and Picea sites distributed across the Alps reveal good agreement, and suggest that tree-ring width (TRW) variations are more climate-driven than genetics-driven at regional and larger scales. We conclude that elevational transects are an extremely valuable platform for understanding climatic-driven changes over time and can be especially powerful when working within an assessed genetic framework.
Growing seasons ; Climate change ; Dendroclimatology ; Gene flow ; Tree growth ; Genetic variation ; Correlations ; Climate models ; GLOBAL CHANGE ECOLOGY ; Population genetics ; Growth rings ; Life Sciences ; Alps ; Climate impact ; Forest productivity ; Ecology ; Plant Sciences ; Dendrochronology ; Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology ; General forest ecology ; General aspects ; Animal, plant and microbial ecology ; Forestry ; Biological and medical sciences ; Animal and plant ecology ; Generalities. Production, biomass. Quality of wood and forest products. General forest ecology ; Genetics, Population ; Climate ; Temperature ; Gene Flow ; Trees - growth & development ; Sequence Analysis, DNA ; Switzerland ; Larix - genetics ; Picea - growth & development ; Picea - genetics ; Larix - growth & development ; Seasons ; DNA, Plant - genetics ; Altitude ; Trees - genetics ; Climate sensitivity ; Growth ; Analysis ; DNA ; Archaeological dating ; Genetics
JSTOR Life Sciences
JSTOR Ecology & Botany II
Alma/SFX Local Collection
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