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Researchers create largest evolutionary 'timetree' of land plants to investigate traits that permit survival in cold climates
Date:12/22/2013

n the near term say in 10 to 20 years this kind of information can help us build better models of what's going to happen with vegetation in the future as the climate changes," Reich said.

There could be other possibilities in the longer term, Reich said.

"It may be possible in 50 to 100 years that people can breed cold tolerance in a different way than we do today," Reich said. "We already do breed for cold tolerance and have for some time, but by understanding the evolutionary pathways and advantages of the different traits, it might be possible to use that information at some future date to improve the kind of vegetation we have here."

The team will make available at Dryad the data and tools developed for this study for other researchers' use. The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, National Science Foundation (grant number EF-0905606) and Australia-based Macquarie University's Genes to Geoscience Research Centre funded this study.


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Contact: Patty Mattern
mattern@umn.edu
612-625-6599
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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