|Town/Region||Cerro del Potosí, Sierra de la Marta, Sierra Peña Nevada|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Biodiversity, Forests, Plants|
|Date||27 May 2020|
The Sierra Madre Oriental, one of the greatest mountain ranges in Mexico, is especially unique due to several climatic fluctuations that took place during the Pleistocene and lead to the expansion and recession of different vegetation areas which created high endemic zones and served as a refuge for different species after the Last Interglacial. Today we are facing the largest and fastest decline of species worldwide and the protection of natural resources is a priority issue.
High montane ecosystems found in the Sierra Madre Oriental are of special concern and most of the species that inhabit these areas are now considered endangered or in some category of protection. Plant species characteristic to these vulnerable ecosystems are especially important for the conservation and survival of all organisms within their communities. Because of this, understanding the distribution and diversity of their genetic resources is crucial to have a better understanding of the areas where species are facing a potential high risk of extinction.
In this research, we will evaluate the genetic resources of two key species for the three highest peaks within the Sierra Madre Oriental, and estimate the content of adaptive variation present in the different populations to identify those geographical regions that house individuals with a high adaptation potential as well as a possible relationship of ecological variables associated with adaptive hotspots in high montane areas. This could be an alternative to safeguard the genetic resources and allow us to perform successful actions for the preservation and restoration of affected areas against future climatic contingencies. Finding these adaptive hotspots allows us to have the necessary tools for the conservation of specific regions where those individuals who represent the hope for the future of the species reside, in addition to provide us with necessary information to design reforestation plans and preservation strategies of germplasm.
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