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Searching for adaptive variation in a foundational Eucalypt in Western Australia

Dr Collin Ahrens
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University

Genomic methodologies were used to understand the demographic and adaptive processes within the foundational eucalypt species E. marginata(jarrah). Leaf material was collected from 28 natural populations across its distribution for genomic analysis focusing on the detection of genomic variants adapted to climate. Data revealed high genetic connectivity confirming previous findings from microsatellite markers, but also revealed greater resolution for genetic structure. Critically, the data revealed strong patterns of adaption associated with maximum temperature of the warmest month and precipitation of the warmest quarter. The project has provided information to support assisted gene migration under climate change in south-west forests through a detailed understanding of genetic adaptation. This is information may be used to bolster jarrah populations for future, novel climates.

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