Poplar Mini Garden
About This Project
The SNHU Arboretum is 1 of 18 university and arboreta sites nationwide hosting ‘mini’ common garden experiments of black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), balsam poplar (P. balsamifera), and their hybrids as part of a new garden-based research network, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Plant Genome Research program.
Led by Dr. Jill Hamilton, assistant professor at North Dakota State University, The goal of the mini poplar network is to pair scientific research with community outreach and education.
Researchers will use full-genome sequencing and spatial-environmental modeling to disentangle the impact genetic variation, ancestry, and environment have on poplar performance across a range of habitats.
This research leverages the natural hybrid zone between black cottonwood and balsam poplar (P. trichocarpa x balsamifera) to understand how hybridization between closely related species contributes to adaptation, and how it might impact future adaptive capacity (positively or negatively) under climate change.