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Contemporary microevolution in oaks



Englersaal, WSL Birmensdorf (video-link to SLF Davos)

Organized by:

Rosmarie Büchi


Dr. Antoine Kremer, Directeur de recherche classe exceptionelle (DREX) INRA - Université de Bordeaux, France

Moderated by:

Felix Gugerli



Type of event:

Distinguished Lectures

Target audience:

everybody interested in this topic

Dr. Antoine Kremer

A pivotal question in forest ecology is the pace of microevolution of trees, and the past and contemporary drivers of evolutionary change in tree populations. Despite their long generations, trees may undergo substantial evolutionary change in one generation due to their very large standing genetic variation. However estimates of short term genetic shifts are currently not available because evolution has so far mostly been investigated through divergence by comparing extant tree populations originating from diverse geographic or ecological sites. This synchronic approach provides an integrative cumulative estimation of evolutionary change, and underestimates instantaneous genetic shifts over two successive generations, that can only be obtained by a true diachronic approach. In my presentation, I will review major patterns of divergence in contemporary oak populations that resulted from evolutionary trajectories during the Holocene. In a second part I will examine major evolutionary trends over short time spans stemming from a diachronic approach and based on genetic monitoring of oak populations that underwent recent environmental changes (since the Little Ice Age and during current climatic change).