National Projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2012 to Jul 2015

Future species responses to predicted environmental changes are embedded in demographic and evolutionary processes that occurred in the past. 


In this project we are investigating the variation in adaptive patterns of three Mediterranean conifers presenting partially overlapping distribution but with distinct demographic histories: Pinus pinaster, P. halepensis and Taxus baccata. Three complementary approaches are followed: (i) demographical dynamics is investigated at the species distribution level to characterize neutral processes (i.e. not due to selection) in order to integrate them when testing correlations between functional markers and environment; (ii) patterns of adaptation at the phenotypic and molecular levels are assessed to identify functional genes under selection, genes responsible for variation in phenotypic traits and geographical-climatic clines of adaptive variation; (iii) modelling of the climatic niche is also performed to characterize the impact of selection on the realized niche of the species.

The combination of these various fields is providing an integrated view to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for adaptation as well as the drivers of selection (both climatic and ecologic). It also provides a basis to identify adaptive population differences that might help a species to survive future environmental changes. Ultimately, the comparison of the results across the three conifer species will help uncovering the molecular basis (and architecture) of adaptation in an important group of forest trees.


Related publication: 

Burgarella C, Navascués M, Zabal-Aguirre M, Berganzo E, Riba M, Mayol M, Vendramin GG, González-Martínez SC (2012) Recent population decline and selection shape diversity of taxol-related genes. Molecular Ecology, 21, 3006-3021.

  • Variació adaptativa, gradients ambientals i demografia en coníferes mediterrànies