Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 1123–1133 | Cite as

Visualising the environmental preferences of Pinus tecunumanii populations

  • J. T. BrawnerEmail author
  • G. R. Hodge
  • R. Meder
  • W. S. Dvorak
Original Paper


A network of 92 pedigreed ex situ conservation plantings of Pinus tecunumanii, established as replicated progeny within provenance trials, is used to present a principal components-based analysis that illustrates the climatic preferences of 23 populations from the species’ native range. This meta-analysis quantifies changes in the relative productivity, assessed as individual-tree volume, of populations across climatic gradients and associates the preference of a population with increased volume production along the climatic gradient. Clustering and ordination on the matrix containing estimates of change in productivity for each population summarise differentials in productivity associated with climatic gradients. The preference of populations along principal components therefore reflects the adaptive profiles of populations, which may be used with breeding-value estimates from routine genetic evaluations to assist with the development of deployment populations targeting different environments. As well, the approach may be used to test whether the preference of a population, estimated as population loadings for growth differentials, is affected by the climate in the native range of the population. This relationship may be interpreted as an estimate of how much local climate shapes the adaptive profiles of populations. The amount and seasonality of precipitation most clearly differentiate the adaptive profiles of populations, with less variation in the population responses explained by temperature differentiation. As expected from type-B correlation estimates, most populations exhibited small changes in relative productivity across climatic gradients. However, patterns of similarities in adaptive profiles among populations were evident using spatial orientation to display population responses to the climatic variables experienced in the provenance trials. Clustering and ordination of population responses derived from empirical data served to identify populations that responded positively or negatively to climatic variables; this information may help guide conservation genetics efforts, direct the deployment of germplasm, or identify seed sources that are sensitive to changes in climatic variables. Linking response patterns to the climatic data from the native range of each population indicated little effect of local climate shaping adaptive profiles.


Genotype by environment interaction Provenance Response profiles Climatic adaptation Genetic conservation Forest genetic resources 



We would like to thank the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship’s Adaptive Primary Industries, Enterprises and Communities research theme for supporting the development of this work. The insightful comments from the associate editor and Tree Genetics and Genomics editorial review process, as well as those from CSIRO Plant Industry colleagues David Bush and Scott Chapman greatly improved this manuscript. We are also grateful for the support of all Camcore members who have managed the program over the past 35 years, particularly in those organisations that actively manage the field trials and conservation parks of Pinus tecunumanii.

Data Archiving Statement

Data required to reproduce any estimates or figures provided in this manuscript is provided in the Supplementary Materials attachment to this manuscript. The main figures in the manuscript (3 and 4) describing the clustering and ordination are readily reproduced with a call to the R functions using the options identified in the text based on the matrix provided in Supplementary Table 1. This table contains the correlation coefficients estimated from the population within trial estimates meeting trial and population minimum specifications. Specifications required for inclusion in the meta-analysis are provided in the methods. Detailed results from populations (Table 1) involved in the trial network are provided in Southern Forests—Growth potential and genetic parameters of four Mesoamerican pines planted in the Southern Hemisphere 2012, GR Hodge and WS Dvorak doi:  10.2989/20702620.2012.686192 #.Uomk1CcdPK0. All climatic data associated with native range or trial locations used for this study is stored on the Bioclim website Table 1 describes the location of the native range populations (Fig. 1) evaluated in the trial network. The weather variables used to compare the environmental coverage of each population across the trial network (Fig. 2) are summarised in Supplementary Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

No genomic data was used in this study.

Supplementary material

11295_2014_747_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1614 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Brawner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • G. R. Hodge
    • 3
  • R. Meder
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. S. Dvorak
    • 3
  1. 1.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Division of Plant IndustryQueensland Bioscience PrecinctSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Forest Industry Research CentreUniversity of the Sunshine CoastSippy DownsAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, CamcoreNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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