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EVOLTREE - Evolution of trees as drivers of terrestrial biodiversity

Data Source: EFI EUROFOREST Portal
TitleEVOLTREE - Evolution of trees as drivers of terrestrial biodiversity
CreatorEVOLTREE Network of Excellence
DescriptionThe EVOLTREE Network of Excellence (NoE) is a 4 year networking project that started in 2006. The EVOLTREE Network involves 25 research groups from 15 European countries that are working together to identify and study genes of adaptive significance in order to evaluate the contribution they make to the evolution of tree species and tree communities. Research will also be carried out on organisms that interact with trees such as insects and mycorrhizal fungi. The network brings together experts in genomics and ecology to understand the factors contributing to the evolution of terrestrial biodiversity. Through this project, a new discipline is emerging: "ecosystem genomics" combines genetics, genomics, ecology and evolution to study gene-level responses to biotic and abiotic selection pressures. EVOLTREE will view global environmental change from an evolutionary perspective: the adaptive capacity of tree species, ultimately determined by the genetic diversity of tree populations, will be assessed using sophisticated genomic tools. Predictive methods, including modeling and simulation, will be developed to forecast the adaptive responses of forest trees to environmental changes. Specific objectives of the research activities are to: (1) Identify genes of adaptive significance in regards to global change in three model species of trees (Pinus, Populus and Quercus), phytophagous insects (Lymantria) and mycorrhizal fungi (Laccaria and Glomus); (2) Assess the level and distribution of nucleotide diversity in genes of adaptive significance in trees, insects and mycorrhizal fungi; (3) Assess the impact of trees on the composition of communities by studying interactions between trees and their associated species; (4) Investigate the evolutionary rate of trees by reconstructing their past history and predicting their future response to global change.
Keywordsbiodiversity; forest ecosystems; climate change; ecology; forest trees; populations; genetics; Lymantria; Laccaria; Glomus; mycorrhiza; insect pests; Quercus; Pinus; Populus
TypeEC-EU resources, Networks
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 Published: May 23 2008