Navigation Links
Scots Pine shows its continental roots
Date:9/9/2010

By studying similarities in the genes of Scots Pine trees, scientists have shown that the iconic pine forests of Highland Scotland still carry the traces of the ancestors that colonised Britain after the end of the last Ice Age, harbouring genetic variation that could help regenerate future populations, according to new results published in the journal Heredity.

The research was carried out by an international team from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Edinburgh and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute.

Today's Scots Pine forests are remnants of the ancient, much larger Caledonian forest that covered the northern parts of Britain from the end of the last Ice Age until many trees were lost due to over-exploitation and agriculture more than 400 years ago.

It has previously been thought that as the trees were lost so was much of the genetic diversity contained within them. Without sufficient genetic diversity the remaining pine tree populations may not be able to adapt and survive under new conditions, for example as the climate changes.

By studying the remnant Scottish populations the researchers were able to see how much genetic variation remains and also how these trees compare to the intact Scots Pine forests of continental Europe and Asia.

The good news is that Scottish populations turn out to be at least as genetically diverse as their continental cousins. This suggests that despite the huge losses they have suffered, the last fragments of the Caledonian Pine forest in Scotland still harbour genetic variation that could help regenerate future populations.

"Despite its Scottish image, the Scots Pine owes much to its European roots." said paper co-author Dr Stephen Cavers, an ecologist based at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology's Edinburgh site, "By looking at the trees' DNA we have learnt much about how the forests grew up after the Ice Age. Given the severe fragmentation of the current population, our results are key to understanding how these forests will cope with future change."

Where the genetic diversity comes from is another question. Given the great age that these trees can reach as much as 700 years in some cases the forests present today may be no more than a few tens of generations removed from the first migrants to reach these shores after the ice retreated. DNA evidence suggests that these early arrivals came in two waves: one, which reached the far north-western Highlands very soon after the ice retreated, possibly via Ireland, and another, which settled in the eastern Highlands, from central Europe.

Dr Cavers added, "We plan to continue the study, to try and discover if there are particular genes which let the Highland trees tolerate the harsh Scottish climate."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barnaby Smith
bpgs@ceh.ac.uk
44-079-202-95384
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scots and Irish at greater risk of drink-related death, study shows
2. Cranberry juice shows promise blocking Staph infections
3. Archaeological study shows human activity may have boosted shellfish size
4. New study shows that oilsands mining and processing are polluting the Athabasca River
5. New research shows how disease-causing parasite gets around human innate immunity
6. Research shows gender difference in energy compensation effect
7. Whale sharks may produce many litters from 1 mating, paternity test shows
8. New study shows how giant tortoises, alligators thrived in High Arctic 50 million years ago
9. UF study shows carnivore species shrank during global warming event
10. Study shows genes role in developing and maintaining cells key for a lifetime of memories
11. Survey shows many are still clueless on how to save energy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scots Pine shows its continental roots
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm ... of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who ... members of the original technical leadership team, including Chief ... President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President ... returned to the company. Dr. Bready served ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Nashville Fertility Center ... A contingency of reproductive endocrinologists, including Dr. George Hill at Nashville ... to help them build families. , Ovation Fertility is a nationwide network of ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... its clients in mind, the fresh look and added functionality give the agricultural ... years have seen a dynamic shift in agriculture – from precision farming via ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... F.E.E.D. Co., ... success of their revolutionary, veterinarian-designed product for indoor cats. The NoBowl Feeding System ... with their food the way nature intended. NoBowls make cats happy and healthy. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... in personalized pain medicine, is excited to announce the launch of the ... public health studies, volunteerism, and education to promote the use of personalized medicine ...
Breaking Biology Technology: