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A range-wide transplant experiment using participatory science and genomic prediction to assess local adaptation in forest trees

 

MyGardenOfTrees is a participatory science project, and it is the second such project in the history of ERC grants. The main aim of this project is to better understand the potential of a tree of a given genetic composition (a genotype) cross different environments. The project focuses on early traits such as germination and early growth, which are essential for natural regeneration. This project will study silver fir and European beech. Hundreds of forester participants will sow carefully selected seeds of various origins and follow seedling development in small, so-called micro-gardens, placed directly in the forest. Although each test site will be small, the whole experiment will have an unprecedented scale and cover whole Europe. Using newly generated genomics data and traits observed in the micro-gardens, this project will also build a predictive model for selecting optimal seed sources that foster natural regeneration.