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sector_ico_Forestry_trans Forestry

AdapTree- Assessing the adaptive portfolio of reforestation stocks for future climates

  • Project Leaders: Sally Aitken, Andreas Hamann
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $4703108
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Applied Research Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Status: Closed

In BC and Alberta alone, ~150 million spruce and lodgepole pine trees are planted annually, however, climate change is threatening forest health by causing a mismatch between the natural genetics of tree populations that are adapted to specific climatic areas and the new climates they now face. This project was a large-scale effort to apply state-of-the-art genomics and climate-mapping technologies to the problem of matching existing and naturally occurring genetic populations of spruce and lodgepole pine with the appropriate areas under climate change. This project developed a “SNP chip” for 50,000 genetic markers that is now being used by Canadian Forest Services tree breeding program, and provided input into the government’s framework policy program that recommended changing breeding practices from seed zones to breeding zones to enhance the climate adaptability of trees to future climates. This project also successfully led to a Genome Canada follow-on project to develop better forestation options for high value tree species.