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How does contemporary selection shape oak phenotypes?

Abstract : Most existing forests are subjected to natural and human-mediated selection pressures, which have increased due to climate change and the increasing needs of human societies for wood, fibre and fuel resources. It remains largely unknown how these pressures trigger evolutionary changes. We address this issue here for temperate European oaks (Quercus petraeaandQ. robur), which grow in mixed stands, under even-aged management regimes. We screened numerous functional traits for univariate selection gradients and for expected and observed genetic changes over two successive generations. In both species, growth, leaf morphology and physiology, and defence-related traits displayed significant selection gradients and predicted shifts, whereas phenology, water metabolism, structure and resilience-related traits did not. However, the direction of the selection response and the potential for adaptive evolution differed between the two species.Quercus petraeahad a much larger phenotypic and genetic variance of fitness thanQ. robur. This difference raises concerns about the adaptive response ofQ. roburto contemporary selection pressures. Our investigations suggest thatQ. roburwill probably decline steadily, particularly in mixed stands withQ. petraea, consistent with the contrasting demographic dynamics of the two species.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 3:39:37 PM
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Hermine Alexandre, Laura Truffaut, Etienne Klein, Alexis A. Ducousso, Emilie Chancerel, et al.. How does contemporary selection shape oak phenotypes?. Evolutionary Applications, Blackwell, In press, pp.1-19. ⟨10.1111/eva.13082⟩. ⟨hal-02927318⟩

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