Adaptation of Western Gulf loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) to a changing environment: Understanding water use efficiency and growth Grant uri icon


  • Southern forests dominated by pines (genus Pinus) contain one third of the entire forest carbon in the contiguous U.S. Among the southern pines, loblolly pine (P. taeda L.) is the most common native forest tree species, providing great economical and ecological value. In much of North America, climate change poses challenges for pine adaptation. Parts of the current loblolly pine range may become more arid and threaten survival and growth, hence decreasing the productivity and the economic value of loblolly pine cultivation. Populations in the western part of the range are more frequently affected by drought and are likely to be severely affected in the future. In the face of changing climate, the development and deployment of improved genetics, seedling culture, and nutrient management technology will play important roles in pine adaptation, resilience and sustainability.The primary long-term goal for this project is to develop knowledge and methods that will allow us to breed loblolly pines adapted to a changing environment, primarily through selection for high water-use efficiency (WUE) while at the same time, improving growth.Experimental Plans: Experiments are planned to develop single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers that can be used in breeding programs to increase water use efficiency, carboxylation efficiency, and stomatal sensitivity to vapor pressure deficits while at the same time maintaining good growth rates. SNPs are the most common source of genetic variation and include single base substitutions, insertions or deletions. Isotope analyses will be used to estimate water use efficiency (WUE). We will examine the relationship between C and O isotopes and N in our population.........

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2023