Global climate changes (GCC) are alterations on the climate properties whose causes may still be questioned but whose biological effects are unquestionable. Despite of its broad impact on living beings, the intensity and the velocity of these changes is heterogeneous regarding the organism and the ecosystem. In this sense, mangrove forests are projected to be one of the most influenced environments by the GCC. Recent advances achieved by many research groups including ours evidenced that these tree communities have responded to past GCC and that they are already responding to the current ones. In this context, the main objective of this project is to comprehend how, in genetic and ecophysiological terms, mangrove trees have evolved in face of past selective pressures of historical GCC and how these organisms may face the present changing world. This approach involves genome scans of natural populations of Avicennia germinans and A. schaueriana both to understand the evolutionary history of these species and to detect natural selection signatures in the genomic level. We will also evaluate the ecophysiology and gene expression patterns of two populations from the northern and southern edges of distribution of A. schaueriana in an experimental design developed to evaluate the effects of temperature and salinity on these populations. This trial will enable comparisons of the effects of different conditions of salinity and temperature for one particular population and also will permit the evaluation of how two different populations from the edges of the species distribution respond to the same environment. Moreover the great scientific challenge and the high impact expected results, this integrative proposal also intends to make available valuable information for management and conservation efforts regarding this endangered forests.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: