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Genetic adaptation of aspen populations to spring risk environments: a novel remote sensing approach Open Access


Other title
phenology, remote sensing, aspen, heatsum, budbreak, genotype
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Li, Haitao
Supervisor and department
Hamann, Andreas (Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Nielsen, Scott (Renewable Resources)
Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Renewable Resources

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This study investigates geographic patterns of genetic variation in aspen spring phenology to understanding how tree population adapts to climatically risk environments. These finding suggest rules to guide seed transfer between regions. I use a classical common garden experiment to reveal genetic differences among populations from western Canada and Minnesota, and present a novel method to seamlessly map the heatsum required for remotely sensed green-up. Both approaches reveal two major geographic patterns: northern and high elevation aspen populations break bud earlier than sources from the boreal plains, and late budbreak is strongly associated with the driest winter and spring environments. This suggests selection pressures for late budbreak due to both frost and drought risks in early spring, and we therefore caution against transfer of seed to drought regions of the boreal plains. Although such transfers have been shown to increase plantation productivity in short-term tests, non-local planting material may be susceptible to exceptional spring droughts.
License granted by Haitao Li ( on 2010-04-14T21:36:56Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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