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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
About this research
Science Topics: Forest Genetics
Forest Genetics Topics:
Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
F. Thomas Ledig
My research is primarily in conservation genetics and evolutionary biology, specifically, (1) the conservation genetics and mating systems of rare Mexican spruces and pinyon pines, (2) the recent evolutionary history and biogeography of Californian conifers, and (3) the response of pines to global warming using pitch pine, a species native to the eastern U.S., as a model. We use isozymes and common garden tests to investigate natural populations of forest trees. In the conservation of plant species, the choice to protect or neglect often depends on taxonomic status, and our research frequently begins with phylogenetic questions and proceeds to studies of genetic structure and mating systems. We reconstruct evolutionary history and determine the processes (selection, mutation, genetic drift, migration) that shape a species' genetic structure. The objective is to develop principles for the conservation of biodiversity, often based on studies of the genetic structure of rare endemics which serve as models for more widespread species fragmented by loss of habitat.
Conservation biology of rare and endemic species
Adaptation and adaptability
Relationship of genetic diversity to developmental stability and viability
Origin of genetic variation in long lived perennials
These approaches provide insights into ecosystem dynamics, and suggest new approaches for management of forests.
Studies range from regional to international in scope. Cooperators in México include: Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agricolas, Montecillo; Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Saltillo; Instituto de Investigaciónes sobre los Recursos Naturales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Michoacan. Other cooperators are: CAMCORE, Raleigh, NC; International Programs, USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC.
|Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 11:00:18 AM|