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[ID: 348] Ecosystem genetic experiments

PI: Michael Gundale

The genetic composition of Swedish forests is gradually changing due to the use of tree breeding programs and seedling planting. Many common garden experiments already exist to study how different genotypes grow differently from one another. There is increasing interest in the ecosystem consequences of these growth differences; however, there are almost no existing “stand scale” genetics experiments that allow ecosystem pools (e.g. above and belowground C and N pools) or fluxes (e.g. Gross Primary Production, Net Primary Production, Net Ecosystem Exchange) to be assessed. Thus the goal of this experiment is to provide a comparison of how genetic improvement may influence forest ecosystem properties. The following genetic treatments for comparison at each location: a) a baseline unenhanced wild population, b) a 1st round seed-orchard crop, c) a 3rd round seed-orchard crop, d) a state-of the art mix of full-sib families from the breeding population. These comparisons will allow us to investigate how a gradient of genetic enhancement, including the past, present, and future improvements, impacts ecosystem properties and processes (e.g. carbon sequestration and storage).

Picea abiesgeneticscarbon sequestration

[ID: 247] The Umeå Aspen (UmAsp) Collection

PI: Stefan Jansson

The Umeå Aspen (UmAsp) collection is a population of aspen trees (Populus tremula) from around the Umeå kommun, collected and cloned into two contrasting common gardens: one site closer to the coast at Skogforsk in Sävar and one at the inland, higher elevation site at Kulbäcksliden near Vindeln. Aspen is a model species for forest tree genetics and has high value in forest ecosystems. The purpose of the collection is to study natural genetic variation in traits including physiology, phenology, growth and biotic interactions. We have DNA sequencing data for all UmAsp individuals to enable population genetics studies, and together with phenotype data we are conducting genome-wide association mapping to identify and genetic variants associated with each phenotype. The two gardens facilitate validation of our findings in different environments and examination of genotype-by-environment interactions of the phenotypes studied. Principal Investigator: Stefan Jansson. Field trials manager: Kathryn Robinson.