Adaptive genetic potential of European silver fir in Romania in the context of climate change
Keywords:Silver fir, transfer functions, response functions, local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, climate changes impact
AbstractFive provenance tests with twenty-six European silver fir autochthonous populations were used in order to assess the response of populations to climate change. Height growth and diameter at breast height of trees at age 31 years were considered as response variables and eight climate variables as predictors. Climatic variables for the trial sites and for origin location of provenances were calculated from 1961 to 2010. The experiments revealed a large genetic variability within species level and a plastic response to climate change, which certainly has a genetic basis. The transfer to warmer climate has resulted in an increase of the provenances growth, in the trial sites situated on the lower vegetation layer. But growth is significantly influenced by mean annual temperature and annual precipitation of planting site and also by the differences in mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, monthly mean temperature in July and July precipitation between provenance site and test site. These are the climatic factors which should be associated with risk in case of the transfer of forest reproductive materials. The provenance origin should be especially considered if the species will be planted outside of its current climate optimum. The best provenances in terms of total height and diameter at 1.30 m came from origin climate close to site climate, small transfer distances. Based on growth response functions and RCP4.5 scenario, we could project the shifts in species distribution for 2050s and 2100s and identify vulnerable populations.
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