Tree taxa shifted latitude or elevation range in response to changes in Quaternary climate. Because many modern trees display adaptive differentiation in relation to latitude or elevation, it is likely that ancient trees were also so differentiated, with environmental sensitivities of populations throughout the range evolving in conjunction with migrations. Rapid climate changes challenge this process by imposing stronger selection and by distancing populations from environments to which they are adapted. The unprecedented rates of climate changes anticipated to occur in the future, coupled with land use changes that impede gene flow, can be expected to disrupt the interplay of adaptation and migration, likely affecting productivity and threatening the persistence of many species.
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