National Projects
Project duration: 
Sep 2021 to Aug 2024

The main goal of this project is to improve our understanding of adaptive processes in non-model trees. 


Genetic adaptations and/or phenotypic plasticity may enable some populations to persist under different environmental conditions. Despite the importance that intraspecific variability can have for species survival and/or their capacity to evolve, as well as to inform existing model predictions or conservation/management actions, this kind of information remains largely ignored in most species when examining the consequences associated with current climate and global change. This knowledge is especially relevant in the case of trees, which are keystone species within the ecosystem and where the maintenance of adaptive genetic and phenotypic diversity within populations seems of paramount importance, because the environment is likely to change within their life span. Though the extent of intraspecific variability is an active area of research in widespread tree species of economic importance, it has been somehow neglected in the case of non-model trees.


In this project we will combine morphoanatomical, physiological and genomic approaches to provide a sound and integrated vision about how adaptation works in the English yew (Taxus baccata L.), a non-model, long-lived, dioecious and widespread gymnosperm that usually forms small isolated populations throughout its range. In particular, we will focus on

  1. the scale at which adaptive processes occur,
  2. the effects of a mixture between divergent demographic lineages on the adaptive potential,
  3. the variation and covariation among morphological, anatomical and physiological traits and their effect on plant performance, and
  4. the existence of common patterns of variation for genotypic and phenotypic traits in response to similar environmental pressures.
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