The Evolution of Trees as Drivers of Terrestrial biodiversity. This project is a ‘Network of Excellence’ funded by the EU within FP6, with 25 partners from 15 countries. We aim to overcome fragmentation in ecosystem genomics research linked to understanding biodiversity in past present and future climates with particular reference to forest ecosystems.



At Southampton we have been involved in the integration of resources, in particular in the development of a cMAP resource for Populus, where QTL from many experiments can be displayed. We have developed the Salicaceaedatabase linking genotypic and phenotypic traits and have made an extensive association population study in Populus nigra identifying genes related to water use efficiency and understanding the pan-European adaptation of this population to local and historical environmental signals determining morphology. We have identified leaf development as a key morphological triats that varies in the population depending on latitude of origin.