Institute of Environmental Studies and Natural Resources. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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Two i-UNAT projects in the award for the Eco-friendly and Digital Transition of the Science and Innovation Ministry

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Two i-UNAT projects in the award for the Eco-friendly and Digital Transition of the Science and Innovation Ministry

Science and Innovation Ministry has published the provisional resolution of the Strategic Projects pointed to the Eco-friendly and Digital Transition 2021, that awards finance for the carrying out of two projects at i-UNAT. The finance has been given to BIRB division, with a price of 209.300 €.

Details of the projects are:

On the one hand, the project: “Cell cultures of coastal abundance of marine plants to restore”, with a price of 74.750 €.

This project is a biotechnology application for the environmental restoration, using the coastal abundance of the marine phanerogams. Preliminary experiences carried out have shown that with in vitro propagation techniques, it is possible to obtain cells from coastal abundance of the marine phanerogams.

On the other hand, the project: “Climate change in Canary Islands: Including landscape genetic and the eco-friendly niches representation to the recovery plans of vegetal threat endemism”, with the acronym GENCLIMA, with a price of 134.500 €.

The abstract of this project is: Climate change is one of the main threats for the biodiversity, specially for the species and ecosystems distributed at high mountain or oceanic islands zones due to their vulnerability and the difficult for migrate and adaptation to other zones. However, the effects and consequences of the climate change over the native and endemic flora at islands ecosystems have not been studied.

Models of ecologic niche, and species distribution are being widely used to project the future distribution of biodiversity in front of the climate change. In the same way, the landscape genetic presents a novel multidisciplinary approach that is increasing as a fundamental tool to evaluate the effects of the landscape over the genetic structure and population structure of the organisms. These effects of the landscape could be linked to the anthropogenic used of the land, or environmental variables, the importance of predict changes at stages of climate change. Application of these techniques requires wide knowledges for population genetic, landscape ecology, modulizations and biocomputing.

GEOCLIMA presents a new focus, proximal and modern to the biologic and ecologic process of the threaten vegetal species contemplating the genetic flux between populations and the structures and genetic diversity and the landscape, so as to the models of ecological niches to be applicate at the conservation and recovery plans of threaten and endemic vegetal species of Canary Islands. We suggest distribution models of 15 vegetal species localised and distributed, mainly, at the ecosystems of laurisilva (La Gomera), fayal brezal (El Hierro), Pine Forest (Gran Canaria) and high mountain (La Palma y Tenerife) to study the actual climatic aptitude and with projection behind different stages of making future projections in front of different stages of climate change over the loss of genetic diversity and functional connectivity of the populations. It is going to be determined the environmental variables that have and will have high impact on the distribution of these species. It is going to be estimated the barriers and interferences to the interpopulation genetic flux, such actual distribution, as at the different projected stages in the future, using analysis and algorithms of the landscape genetics. It is going to make the projections of loss of genetic diversity and functional connectivity for each specie and for multiple species with the purpose of evaluating if there are common patterns. It is going to be compared the effects of the climate change between the aim species and their extension at the ecosystems of Canary Islands and it is going to make proposals of practical applications to applicate for the management of the threaten species.

Combination of these methods is going to permit us to evaluate the capacity of the species for changing their distribution area to adequate climatically zones and identify potential runners of functional connectivity incorporating the effects of the composition, configuration, and quality of the landscape under different stages of climate change. Therefore, the identification of the barriers to the genetic flux and the runners of movement are going to identify the vulnerability of the Canary Islands biodiversity.