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Climate adaptation, drought susceptibility, and genomic-informed predictions of future climate refugia for the Australian forest tree Eucalyptus globulus


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Butler, JB ORCID: 0000-0003-1353-3765, Harrison, PA ORCID: 0000-0002-3502-0242, Vaillancourt, RE ORCID: 0000-0002-1159-9149, Steane, DA ORCID: 0000-0002-8061-8454, Tibbits, JFG and Potts, BM ORCID: 0000-0001-6244-289X 2022 , 'Climate adaptation, drought susceptibility, and genomic-informed predictions of future climate refugia for the Australian forest tree Eucalyptus globulus' , Forests, vol. 13, no. 4 , doi: 10.3390/f13040575.

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Understanding the capacity of forest tree species to adapt to climate change is of increasing importance for managing forest genetic resources. Through a genomics approach, we modelled spatial variation in climate adaptation within the Australian temperate forest tree Eucalyptus globulus, identified putative climate drivers of this genomic variation, and predicted locations of future climate refugia and populations at-risk of future maladaptation. Using 812,158 SNPs across 130 individuals from 30 populations (i.e., localities) spanning the species’ natural range, a gradientForest algorithm found 1177 SNPs associated with locality variation in home-site climate (climate-SNPs), putatively linking them to climate adaptation. Very few climate-SNPs were associated with population-level variation in drought susceptibility, signalling the multi-faceted nature and complexity of climate adaptation. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed 24% of the climate-SNP variation could be explained by annual precipitation, isothermality, and maximum temperature of the warmest month. Spatial predictions of the RDA climate vectors associated with climate-SNPs allowed mapping of genomically informed climate selective surfaces across the species’ range under contemporary and projected future climates. These surfaces suggest over 50% of the current distribution of E. globulus will be outside the modelled adaptive range by 2070 and at risk of climate maladaptation. Such surfaces present a new integrated approach for natural resource managers to capture adaptive genetic variation and plan translocations in the face of climate change.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Butler, JB and Harrison, PA and Vaillancourt, RE and Steane, DA and Tibbits, JFG and Potts, BM
Keywords: Eucalyptus globulus, climate adaptation, drought adaptation,genotype environment association, GEA study, gene pool conservation, selection surfaces, genomic vulnerability
Journal or Publication Title: Forests
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 1999-4907
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/f13040575
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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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