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Applying landscape genomic tools to forest management and restoration of Hawaiian koa (Acacia koa) in a changing environmentAuthor(s): Paul F. Gugger; Christina T. Liang; Victoria L. Sork; Paul Hodgskiss; Jessica W. Wright
Source: Evolutionary Applications. 11(2): 231-242
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionIdentifying and quantifying the importance of environmental variables in structuring population genetic variation can help inform management decisions for conservation, restoration, or reforestation purposes, in both current and future environmental conditions. Landscape genomics offers a powerful approach for understanding the environmental factors that currently associate with genetic variation, and given those associations, where populations may be most vulnerable under future environmental change. Here, we applied genotyping by sequencing to generate over 11,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms from 311 trees and then used nonlinear, multivariate environmental association methods to examine spatial genetic structure and its association with environmental variation in an ecologically and economically important tree species endemic to Hawaii, Acacia koa. Admixture and principal components analyses showed that trees from different islands are genetically distinct in general, with the exception of some genotypes that match other islands, likely as the result of recent translocations. Gradient forest and generalized dissimilarity models both revealed a strong association between genetic structure and mean annual rainfall. Utilizing a model for projected future climate on the island of Hawaii, we show that predicted changes in rainfall patterns may result in genetic offset, such that trees no longer may be genetically matched to their environment. These findings indicate that knowledge of current and future rainfall gradients can provide valuable information for the conservation of existing populations and also help refine seed transfer guidelines for reforestation or replanting of koa throughout the state.
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CitationGugger, Paul F.; Liang, Christina T.; Sork, Victoria L.; Hodgskiss, Paul; Wright, Jessica W. 2017. Applying landscape genomic tools to forest management and restoration of Hawaiian koa (Acacia koa) in a changing environment. Evolutionary Applications. 11(2): 231-242. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12534.
KeywordsAcacia koa, climate change, generalized dissimilarity modeling, genotype–environment association, genotyping by sequencing, gradient forest, Hawaii, landscape genomics
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