Evolutionary rescue in Artic plants
Understanding which factors determine how a species responds to environmental change allows us to anticipate future shifts in community composition. Populations that experience severe stress, such as in the face of climate change, may avoid extinction through adaptation by natural selection. This process is known as evolutionary rescue and can provide a means for species conservation. Informed conservation practices are more urgent than ever in tundra ecosystems, where temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else on the planet. Taken together, our objectives are to leverage genomic diversity in Arctic plants to 1) determine their adaptive potential to future predicted climate change, and 2) model the future spread of allelic variation and adaptive genotypes. Through a combination of existing common garden experiments and sampling from natural populations, together with genomics and ecological niche models, we aim to identify adaptive potential to climate change across scales and over time. Linking information about intraspecific genomic responses to climate will allow us to better predict population and species persistence under different future climate change scenarios.