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Forests 2017, 8(7), 237;

Mixing It Up: The Role of Hybridization in Forest Management and Conservation under Climate Change

School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale 2351, NSW, Australia
Biology Department, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5, Canada
Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58102, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Glenn Juday
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [730 KB, uploaded 4 July 2017]


Forest tree hybrid zones provide a wealth of novel genetic variation that can be harnessed to safeguard populations in changing climates. In the past 30 years, natural and artificial forest hybrid zones have facilitated significant contributions to selective breeding programs, conservation, and our understanding of the evolutionary processes and mechanisms that influence the maintenance of species and community interactions. This review highlights advances in these areas using forest hybrid zones. Taking examples from well-known genera, including eucalypt, poplar, oak and spruce, this review details the important role hybrid zones play in managing conservation of genetic variation, the environmental and non-environmental factors that influence barriers to reproduction, and the impact that genetic ancestry may have on community biodiversity. Given increasing concern surrounding species adaptability under rapidly changing conditions, we describe how the study of forest hybrid zones, using quantitative and genomic approaches, can facilitate conservation of genetic diversity and long-term species management. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybridization; introgression; climate change; eucalypt; spruce; poplar; genomics hybridization; introgression; climate change; eucalypt; spruce; poplar; genomics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Janes, J.K.; Hamilton, J.A. Mixing It Up: The Role of Hybridization in Forest Management and Conservation under Climate Change. Forests 2017, 8, 237.

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