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Phenotypic plasticity of European larch radial growth and wood density along a-1,000 m elevational gradient

Margarita Escobar-Sandoval1, Luc Pâques1, Philippe Rozenberg1, Patrick Fonti2, Alejandro Martinez-Meier3


Margarita Escobar-Sandoval1, Luc Pâques1, Philippe Rozenberg1, Patrick Fonti2, Alejandro Martinez-Meier3


This new, highly collaborative article between Mexico, Switzerland, Argentina and France, deals with an emblematic research line for FORESTIA: the potential of adaptation of forest trees to climate through the restrospective study of phenotypic plasticity, based on tree-ring analysis. This original research line is among those that founded the original collaboration between INTA and INRAE. Here we worked on larch, a mountain species distributed along wide elevationnal gradients in the Alps. We developed individual linear reaction norms to estimate inter-annual phenotypic plasticity to temperature for four different ring variables. Results showed a large range of phenotypic plasticity (with positive and negative slopes) at each elevational plot and for each tree-ring variable. Overall, phenotypic plasticity tends to be larger but positive at higher elevation, negative at the warmer lower sites, and more variable in the center of the elevation distribution. This large inter-individual variations could support local adaptation to climate along this elevationnal gradient.

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