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HybridChange – The potential of hybridization to promote rapid adaptation during climate change

Project Leader
Hackländer Klaus, BOKU Project Leader
Duration:
01.01.2021-31.12.2024
Type of Research
Basic Research
Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management
Funded by
Abstract
We will evaluate and quantify the impact of introgression driven by natural selection in the genomes of hybridizing species during climate changes. We will address this question studying geographical and temporal replicates of the hybridization process using hares (Lepus spp.) as established models, where hybridization during species range replacements has been demonstrated by our team. We will study systems at different stages of the range replacement process, namely i) extant populations that have been involved in post-glacial species replacements with hybridization, and ii) extant and historical populations where the invasion/retraction dynamics is ongoing, driven by anthropogenic changes.

Understanding how biodiversity can cope with rapid environmental changes is a major modern challenge. The project will improve our understanding of how genetic diversity can evolve independently of the partitioning into species, and how introgression contributes to adaptation during climate change.
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