• Open Access

Modeling intraspecific adaptation of Abies sachalinensis to local altitude and responses to global warming, based on a 36-year reciprocal transplant experiment


Wataru Ishizuka, The University of Tokyo Forests, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Tel.: +81-3-5841-5497;
fax: +81-3-5841-5494;
e-mail: wataru@uf.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp


Intraspecific adaptation in Abies sachalinensis was examined using models based on long-term monitoring data gathered during a reciprocal transplant experiment with eight seed source populations and six transplantation sites along an altitudinal gradient. The consequence of local adaptation was evaluated by testing the home-site advantage for upslope and downslope transplants at five ages. The populations’ fitness-linked trait was set as their productivity (tree height × survival rate) at each age. The effects of global warming were evaluated on the basis of the 36-year performance of downslope transplants. Evidence was found for adaptive genetic variation affecting both height and survival from an early age. Increasing the distance between seed source and planting site significantly reduced productivity for both upslope and downslope transplantation, demonstrating the existence of a significant home-site advantage. The decrease in productivity was most distinct for upslope transplantations, indicating strong local adaptation to high altitudes. Global warming is predicted to increase the productivity of high-altitude populations. However, owing to their existing local adaptation, all tested populations exhibited lower productivity under warming than demes that were optimal for the new climate. These negative predictions should be considered when planning the management of locally adapted plant species such as A. sachalinensis.