Drought-induced growth phenotypes are associated with genetic variation across a white pine hybrid zone

L. R. Peach, K. M. Waring, P. Z. Fulé, A. J. Eckert, M. Menon, J. K. Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding relationships among warming climate, increased drought severity, and the genetic architecture of hybrid drought resilience is necessary for forest conservation and management. We calculated three drought-related tree-ring-growth indices (dendrophenotypes) using tree-ring data from hybrid Pinus strobiformis–Pinus flexilis study trees at nine sites across Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Along with hybrid index (percentage of P. strobiformis ancestry inherited by a single tree) and climate variables, we used dendrophenotypes to (Q1) examine relationships among climate and hybrid index, (Q2) examine relationships between dendrophenotypes and hybrid index, and (Q3) conduct a genotype–phenotype analysis. We observed a significant correlation between hybrid index and dendrophenotypes resulting from high-temperature drought in addition to a significant correlation between those dendrophenotypes and our dataset of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We conclude that P. strobiformis–P. flexilis trees exhibiting higher hybrid indices are more resilient to high-temperature drought events and encourage future research that identifies a genetic linkage between relevant loci and their conferred physiological benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-631
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • dendrophenotype
  • drought
  • genetics
  • hybridization
  • pine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology


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